COMMUNITIES across the region are coming together in an initiative inspired by the murdered MP Jo Cox.

A wide range of activities is taking place.

And there is backing from a campaign spearheaded by the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership.

Churches Together in Silsden is organising a gathering on Saturday, June 22.

A 'bring and share' picnic is being held at Silsden Methodist Church, from 11am to 2pm.

The event will be indoors if wet.

A church spokesman said: "This is a chance to show that – in the words of Jo Cox – 'we have more in common than that which divides us'."

The Jo Cox Foundation's Great Get Together runs throughout the weekend of June 21-23, with events being staged across the country.

It has the support of the Looking out for our Neighbours scheme, launched by the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership to combat loneliness.

Since it began in March, the campaign has already inspired hundreds of people to engage in neighbourly activities.

Rob Webster, chief executive officer lead for the partnership, said: "It’s ‘great to be getting together’ with the Jo Cox Foundation to share the message that tackling loneliness and preventing social isolation improves all of our lives.

"Many people feel lonely at some point – whether this is due to bereavement, divorce or other life-changing events – and without the support of family and friends, it can be very difficult to overcome.

"A simple act of kindness can make a huge difference to everyone’s day. I’m delighted the campaign has reached so many people and long may this continue over the summer and beyond."

Kim Leadbeater – sister of Jo Cox, who was killed in 2016, and an ambassador for the foundation – said she was delighted with the link-up.

She added: "I feel passionately about creating well-connected communities where everyone is happy and healthy and has a sense of identity and belonging and it’s wonderful to know that some of the connections being made through the Looking out for our Neighbours campaign can be continued as part of the Great Get Together.

"I believe if we all work together to prevent loneliness and its associated health risks, we can have a positive impact on the wellbeing of everyone."

More than 350 organisations and individuals have so far signed-up to Looking out for our Neighbours.

It is also proving a hit on social media, with the hashtag #OurNeighbours being used over 1,000 times.

More than 35,000 information packs have been distributed, and a further 600 digital versions downloaded.

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