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Basildon Borough has become the newest member of the More in Common community – people across the UK who are inspired by the words of murdered MP Jo Cox’s maiden speech in Parliament:
“We are far more united and have far more in common than that which divides us.”
Mayor of Basildon, Councillor David Burton-Sampson, has made the Jo Cox Foundation his chosen charity. He said:
“My idea was to work with the Jo Cox Foundation on projects in our borough that bring people together, bridge divides and tackle loneliness,”
“Now we have a group of people who have taken this idea on and formed More in Common Basildon Borough to take this work on and give it a life of its own, which is fantastic.”
It is estimated that at least 6,000 households in Basildon borough each year are likely to be lonely, or at high risk of isolation. Social isolation and loneliness can have major health impacts, with research showing that it to be as damaging to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day and lonely people more likely to suffer from dementia, heart disease and depression.
Alan Foakes has taken on the role as Chair of More in Common Basildon:
“We have a lot of charities and community groups out there in the borough already and they all do a fantastic job. We don’t want to replace or compete with them. But a lot of people are unaware of all the help they can provide. That’s where we hope to help.
“We aim to match people who want support or help because they are suffering from financial difficulty, mental health issues, marriage or relationship problems, abuse or bullying or just feel lonely, with the right charities and groups who can provide the best help. The website we are launching this month will be a great tool to do that.
“We also want to provide support to the charities themselves through fundraising and campaigning.”
Charities, services and community groups in the borough are encouraged to sign up so that residents are aware of the services they offer.
The full site will be live to residents from 16th March 2020.