The Festival of Connection will take place on 18th January to reclaim Blue Monday – often considered the saddest day of the year – and to offer some much-needed inspiration and cheer to the beginning of 2021. The event is the culmination of Great Winter Get Together, an initiative of the Jo Cox Foundation which called on the public to reduce loneliness one connection at a time.
This winter, nine million people in the UK said they were often or always alone, so the Jo Cox Foundation’s five-week campaign set out to change that, and saw hundreds of thousands of individuals take part in practical action to tackle loneliness together.
With a jam-packed programme of free online events, there’s something for everyone to enjoy with The Festival of Connection, including a DJ set with iconic actress Patsy Palmer, hilarious comedy with the award-winning Josie Long and a lunch-time bake-a-long with Great British Bake Off alumni, Ugne Bubnaityte. The day will kick off with an 80s-inspired work-out session from Jo Cox’s sister, Foundation ambassador and recent MBE recipient Kim Leadbeater. Later attendees will be treated to a rip-roaring Bingo session run by Scottish drag duo, Bingo Babes.
As we’ve entered a third national lockdown and 60 percent of Brits have reported feeling lonelier during the pandemic, each event has been specially-curated to be interactive and bring people together to spark a little bit of joy, one human connection at a time.
As well as providing good times, SocialEyes was set up was to contribute to good causes, and that’s why they were attracted to the Foundation. 'After how tough last year was, we were drawn to the Great Get Together and wanted to offer seats in our virtual venue to spread some much-needed cheer to people across the UK,’ says Lee Beattie, co-founder of SocialEyes. ‘Loneliness is a huge issue, and not just amongst the elderly. This has only been exasperated by the pandemic but online events are a great way to bring people together.
‘Shared experiences are something which have been in short supply over the last 10 months so being able to smile, laugh and even dance together is absolutely vital when many of us are stuck in our houses. We’re providing a place where everyone can come together to enjoy uplifting entertainment by performers, distracting ourselves from the world around us.’
Lee hopes this event will bring people together at a time when it’s needed most. 'We want people to enjoy live experiences in the company of others once again,’ he continues. ‘Whether it's sharing a joke or making friends, the interactive performances will bring joy to new audiences.’
All tickets for the Festival of Connection are free but you are invited to make a donation to support the Jo Cox Foundation’s work if you can. All donations will go directly to the charity. To book tickets for any events visit socialeyes.club