On 16 June 2016, the then MP for Batley and Spen, Jo Cox, was horrifically murdered. Jo possessed the rare qualities of being respected and liked by colleagues across the political spectrum. Jo's values resonate with many of us. She believed that "We have more in common than that which divides us": The Great Get Together celebrates this. From Friday 16 June to Sunday 18 June 2017, thousands of people at hundreds of events in towns across the country will meet up to share time together.
At Caremark Thanet, we are pleased to team up with Bernie's Chocolate Bar to bring you our own Great Get Together. You are invited to join us on Friday 16 June 2016 between 2.00 -4.00 in the afternoon at Bernie's Chocolate Bar, 12-14 High Street, Margate, CT9 1AT. If you've never been to Bernie's you will be amazed by the stunning views (if you have been there, you'll know what I mean), delighted by the hospitality and knocked out by the coffee and cakes (and chocolate).
The Great Get Together is all about sharing. It's about sharing what we have in common; sharing drinks and food; sharing conversation with friends - and strangers; sharing - and respecting - our differences; sharing being together; and together saying a defiant no to division.
Amongst many other areas social concern, Jo Cox was heavily involved with the campaign to end loneliness. Loneliness does not discriminate. It is a feeling that has no sympathy for illness, for gender, for status or age. Though it is a feeling to which age makes us more susceptible.
The facts on loneliness and isolation make uncomfortable reading. There are about 3.5 million people in the UK aged 65 and over who live alone. Many of the 65 and over age group report that they have contact with family, friends or neighbours less than once a week; that they feel trapped in their homes; that they have no help to go out; feel socially isolated, and have no one to turn to for help.
You probably know someone who is lonely. If you do know someone who is socially isolated, why not invite him or her to join you at at our Great Get Together. The things we can do to help are often quite simple; as simple as inviting a neighbour to Tea at Bernie's Chocolate bar.
Garry Costain is the Managing Director of Caremark Thanet, a domiciliary care provider with offices in Margate, Kent. Caremark Thanet provides home care services throughout the Isle of Thanet. Garry can be contacted on 01843 235910 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit Caremark Thanet's website at www.caremark.co.uk/thanet.