Talk/together, the UK’s biggest-ever public consultation on what unites and divides our society kicks off in Yorkshire this week before covering every nation and region of the UK in the coming months.
Nearly 60,000 people have already taken part through an online survey that everyone is invited to complete at www.together.org.uk. Now Talk/together is looking to spark deeper conversations among the public across Yorkshire – as well as with local government, charities, faith groups and others – to find out what divisions people are most concerned about, and what they feel could help to bring us closer together.
The first of these discussions, now moved online because of Covid, is with a representative group of people recruited from Leeds and takes place on Monday 21 September. Conversations with citizens from Huddersfield, Hull, Rotherham and Scarborough will follow, as well as an online meeting of local stakeholders working to promote social connection on 28 September (contact us if you would like to attend). Talk/together is inviting everyone across Yorkshire and Humberside to have their say by completing the Talk/together survey at www.together.org.uk
Partnerships with foodbanks in Batley and Cleckheaton will distribute Talk/together surveys to local foodbank users to help the project hear from more marginalised voices whose views are often overlooked.
On Thursday 24th, a panel chaired by BBC Radio Leeds presenter Liz Green will discuss “Will Covid cause division in Yorkshire or can we get through this together?”. The online webinar starts at 6pm and is free to attend, featuring former Huddersfield Town FC Chairman Dean Hoyle; Kim Leadbeater, Chair of More in Common Batley and Spen and sister of the late Jo Cox MP; Humayun Islam, chairman of Bradford City supporters’ group the Bangla Bantams; and Leeds Imam Qari Asim.
More in Common Batley and Spen host an online conversation with people from the area on Wednesday 23rd September. A group of local people will discuss their experiences of lockdown and the impact it has had on their community, including the divisions that worry them most and the new connections that offer hope for the future.
Local organisations are being invited to host their own Talk/together events to represent the views of their communities, with an event toolkit and small grants to cover expenses available from Talk/together.
Talk/together is coordinated by /Together, a new coalition that aims to help build a kinder, closer and more connected society. Its supporters in Yorkshire include the Yorkshire Post and Yorkshire Evening Post; Leeds Building Society; All Hallows Church, Leeds; Cohesion Sheffield and Bradford city council, as well as national organisations like the Scouts and Girl Guides, BBC and ITV, the Jo Cox Foundation, Sport England and the NHS. /Together’s Chair of trustees is the Rt Rev Nick Baines, the Bishop of Leeds.
Talk/together will publish its findings in early 2021. With data gathered through an online survey, discussion groups in every nation and region of the UK, an open call for evidence and three waves of representative opinion polling, organisers believe it will provide some of the most authoritative findings yet on the state of UK society in the wake of COVID-19. This will then shape the future activities of the /Together coalition and provide evidence for policy advocacy to help bridge the angry divisions of the past and build more shared moments that bring people together.
If you work on issues of social connection, cohesion or integration and would like to take part in our stakeholder discussion in Yorkshire, or those to follow in every other region, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org