Young pupils from three diverse primary schools in Glasgow came together on Friday to create an art project to celebrate Jo Cox’s values of kindness, community and respect.
Sixty children were involved in the unique project at the Tramway arts venue as part of this year’s Great Get Together, which brings communities together around the date of Jo’s birthday in her memory.
The event was hosted and organised by Anas Sarwar in conjunction with the Visual Arts Studio, and children from all backgrounds were encouraged to explore what they love about where they live.
The groups of pupils aged from 8-to-11 from St Bride’s Primary, Glendale Primary, and Pollokshields Primary were mixed up so they could make new friends.
The inspiration came from an event in Batley and Spen, which Jo represented as an MP, where local children made an artwork of the things they loved about their community.
Other events are taking place across Scotland today and over the weekend, including barbecues, picnics and tea parties, stretching from Kirkwall to Lockerbie.
Jo Cox’s sister Kim Leadbeater said:
“Scotland has always been really enthusiastic about organising Great Get Togethers and I would like to thank everyone for their support in making this year’s celebrations more special than ever.
“It is three years since Jo’s horrific murder and I still can’t believe what has happened to our family. My personal grief is compounded by the current divisions across the country, which in many ways feel worse than ever. It makes it more important than ever to take some time to reconnect with each other on a human level, and The Great Get Together is the perfect opportunity to do so.
“The only way to understand each other and live peacefully together is by getting to know each other, and The Great Get Together will have lots of brilliant events where we can do just that.
Catherine Anderson, chief executive of the Jo Cox Foundation, said:
“This year’s Great Get Together is more varied and more exciting than ever. We have literally lost count of the number of different activities, large and small, being planned across the UK. The organisers I speak to tell me time and again how their communities are looking forward so much to the opportunity to forget about all the divisions in society and simply have a good time and remember that we really do have so much more in common.”
Anas Sarwar MSP said:
“The Great Get Together event has brought together children in Glasgow who may not otherwise be connected.
“Amid rising prejudice and division, the next generation of Scots offer us hope for the future.
“In memory of Jo, we must all work harder to focus not on the things that divide us, but the things we have in common.”
Willie Nelson, coordinator at the Tramway Visual Arts Studio, said:
“The project encourages the experimenting with the expressive properties of paint and colour in order to explore personal gestures and interpersonal relationships, and how important the expressive arts are when it comes to fostering togetherness and bringing and developing bonds and friendships.”