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Ashton Hayes café to stage Big Tea Party in memory of Jo Cox

Jubilee-style street party will be held on June 18

Murdered West Yorkshire MP Jo Cox

Volunteers behind a community café in Ashton Hayes will be throwing a Jubilee-style street party on Sunday, June 18, in memory of murdered West Yorkshire MP Jo Cox.

The Pavilion Café’s Big Tea Party will be held on the village’s aptly named Queen Elizabeth II Field where the café is located.

Invitations have gone out to all 430 households in Ashton Hayes urging residents to turn out in force to what will be one of thousands of Great Get Together events taking place throughout the country to mark the anniversary of the tragic death of the MP for Batley and Spen on June 16 last year.

Following her murder, Jo’s husband Brendan and friends launched the Jo Cox Foundation which is behind The Great Get Together, a chance to bring communities together and show ‘we have more in common than things that divide us’.

Organisers say they want the weekend of celebrations on June 17 and 18 to be ‘the biggest moment of national unity since the Jubilee parties’.

Onnie Powers, an Ashton Hayes resident and one of the driving forces behind the creation of The Pavilion Café which is wholly staffed by volunteers, said: “The café was set up two years ago by a small group of local people to provide a resource for a community which had lost its local pub.

“We wanted to create a focal point; somewhere warm and welcoming for people of all ages to get together with family, friends and neighbours over a cup of tea or coffee, snacks and homemade soup and cakes.

“We, like so many people throughout the country, were deeply shocked and saddened by Jo Cox’s death and our Café Committee took the decision to contribute to The Great Get Together initiative, whose ethos we all share, by hosting our own event not only for Ashton Hayes but also for surrounding villages.”

Onnie said the Big Tea Party had already attracted significant support from a diverse range of organisations from within and without the village, including Ashton Hayes Parish Council, the West Cheshire branch of Rural Community Services and Equity Housing, which is embarking on a housing development opposite the Queen Elizabeth II Field.

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