Community bursts with civic pride as hundreds unite

GLORIOUS sunshine, fun for all the children and a real sense of community spirit were the order of the weekend.

Monday, 19th June 2017, 6:55 am
Updated Monday, 19th June 2017, 12:48 pm
Celebrating unity in the community Picture: Habibur Rahman

The Great Get-Together, which took place across the Portsmouth area on Saturday and Sunday, brought people in the area together to celebrate in honour of killed MP Jo Cox.

Ms Cox was murdered in June last year, having spent a little over a year as MP for Batley and Spen.

And in Portsmouth people took part in the nationwide movement to remember her and what she strived to achieve.

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On Saturday, Canoe Lake was packed with people who enjoyed live music, children’s entertainment and, of course, each other’s company.

Gemma Hughes, 34, said: ‘I came along with a friend of mine and her children.

‘It has been really a really good day – we need more stuff like this, to bring people together.

‘It is a great atmosphere and it is great to see the community get together.

‘And the weather has been glorious too.’

Labour MP for Portsmouth South Stephen Morgan added: ‘I sadly never knew Jo Cox personally, but through friends at the Labour Party I know what a fantastic person she was.

‘I think those words in her maiden speech – that we have more in common than that which divides us – is an incredibly important message here in Portsmouth.

‘It is absolutely fantastic to see so many people out here enjoying the sunshine – we are much stronger when we work together.

‘It is brilliant to be here, and it was an honour to go over to Southsea Community Garden to plant a rose bush in Jo’s honour.’

On Sunday, residents in Rochester Road, Southsea, packed their street with chairs, tables and football goals, as they closed the road for a Great Get-Together street party.

Organiser James Donougher, said: ‘I have lived on this street for pretty much my whole life.

‘We actually started doing street parties back in the Queen’s jubilee year.

‘The Big Lunch gave us a reason to hold these street parties annually.

‘All the people who are taking part are wearing black wristbands as a mark of respect – we wanted to do this in honour of Jo Cox.

‘Nobody wants to hear such horrendous news, but I think we live in a world where it is becoming a bit too common.

‘It is important to emphasise love, unity and togetherness – three things that Jo Cox believed in.’