Today, Paul Taylor tells us about the tributes to Jo Cox in Batley, her constituency in Yorkshire.
Yesterday was an incredibly emotional – and uplifting – day. I was honoured to be asked to host the #MoreInCommon event in Batley, Yorkshire where we celebrated what would have been Jo Cox’s 42nd birthday, her life, her work and her legacy. We joined up with events in London and many other venues around the world.
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Events in London, including yet another brave and humbling testament from Jo’s husband Brendan, were beamed back to us in West Yorkshire and then Jo’s inspirational sister Kim sent more words of love and hope from Batley to the rest of the world. Although the day was hard at times, it was ultimately about the love that has flowed from the tragic events of last Thursday.
In front of a packed Market Square, I was privileged to introduce two choirs, religious leaders from the area and the Head Teacher of a local school along with two of her pupils who gave heartfelt testimony to the time Jo had spent with them and what a difference she made. Finally we were all given pledge cards so that we can all go on-line to show how we will #LoveLikeJo.
I then had the opportunity to speak to BBC’s Look North and was very happy to explain once again the work Royal Voluntary Service does with lonely and isolated older people locally and nationally as well as why Jo Cox saw us as a natural partner to work with.
Before going on air, I was standing by a row of taxis and one of the drivers wound down his window and told me “I was there today and it was brilliant; she was so highly thought of”.
Jo’s death has devastated a whole community, but it has made them stronger, more resilient and ready to help build her legacy. And with the help of the Memorial Fund, Royal Voluntary Service will be right there beside them to help build and sustain that legacy.
Read Paul’s previous blog Jo Cox – A Fitting Legacy. Find out how to volunteer or get help near you.