Fellow Big Lunchers – we’re pleased to announce that Greenlight Gateway - a Social Enterprise based in Ballycastle, Northern Ireland, has been successful in their Peoples Millions lottery bid for £60,000. Fantastic news!
Greenlight’s core aim is to provide real and meaningful work and employment experiences for people with learning disabilities, to enhance and develop their self confidence, skills and talents. They’re a creative team that offer new opportunities, responsibilities and training for work and life, in a friendly, community environment. Their projects include:
•Recycling Textiles, Clothes and Aluminium
•Charity and Seasonal Shop (Retail Opportunities)
•Horticulture and Space To Grow Project
The Space to Grow project will turn a derelict space in Ballycastle into a thriving social enterprise for all the people of the Glens of Antrim to use. It will feature a fresh air fitness outdoor gym, allotments, a growing, cooking and training programme and an innovative Jubilee Dream garden. The project will be owned by its members and adults with learning disabilities, run in partnership with the Northern Health and Social CareTrust, local schools and community groups and will help to improve the health and well-being of people with learning disabilities and mental ill health, as well as the wider community.
Greenlight has joined The Big Lunch having experienced the benefits of bringing their community together first hand when they attended the Can Can Big Lunch Bazaar on 11th June. Now we’re looking forward to helping them celebrate their success with their community.
Find out more about Greenlight Gateway
The Big Lunch attended a Fresh Ideas Network seminar on “Thriving Communities: Building Communities & Sustainable Food Projects”. The Fresh Ideas Network supports community food projects which aim to make healthy/local food more easily available, accessible and affordable to local communities, particularly in areas of disadvantage.
We were so impressed with some of the projects taking place across the South East we thought we would share them with our Big Lunchers—there’s nothing to stop you setting up or taking part in something similar in your area!
Here are a few of our favourite ideas and tips!
Food4Thought’s Amanda Sheer had some great activities to involve children:
• Run ‘Bush Tucker trials’ to get kids to try new vegetables and fruits!
• See what local companies are will to lend or give away for free. Amanda found tyres and wood chippings going free.
• Take your lessons outside; you can cover the national curriculum in your garden. The BBC and Morrisons have a few suggestion to get you started.
Jackie Sumner from Town and Country Foundation, a charitable arm of Town and Country Housing Group in Kent, discussed the changes to government policy that could affect you:
• By 2014 the Public Health Commission will be in the remit of Local Authorities. If you want to set up a project try to think about how your project could improve the health of participants and don’t forget to capture the progress made; this will help you gain the support of your Local Authority.
Spectrum Medina Housing Association manages a fantastic project called Growing Spaces on the Isle of Wight. Growing Spaces has provided 400 households in deprived neighbourhoods with raised beds, soil, plants and seeds to get them started growing vegetables.
• Neighbours now swap seeds, plants, produce and recipes.
• Growing Spaces run cooking lessons to help residents find good uses for their produce.
• At garden shows Growing Spaces liven things up with competitions such as “Vegetable most like its owner”.
If you would like to set up a growing space but need some help designing your space, Architecture for Humanity provide pro bono design services for communities looking to build. They place the community at the centre of the design process and have undertaken a number of community consultations.
Why not set up a project near you, it’s a great opportunity to grow some vegetables while getting to know your community in time for The Big Lunch 2012.
Please get in touch if you would like any further information or advice about the projects at email@example.com
Carers Week is a partnership of nine National organisations several of whom are supporters of The Big Lunch; Age UK, Carers UK, Counsel & Care, Crossroads Care, Dementia UK, Macmillan Cancer Support, MS Society, Parkinson’s UK, and The Princess Royal Trust for Carers.
Carers Week aims to:
• Recognise and celebrate the contribution that the UK’s six million carers make to those they care for, and to their communities
• Raise the profile of carers and the awareness about the needs and role of carers; influencing and informing opinion-formers and decision-makers (such as MPs and healthcare professionals) and helping to secure increased resources for carers from central and local government
• Identify ‘hidden carers’, with the aim of enabling them to access support and services
• Encourage local organisations to work together to promote recognition, support and services for carers
• Highlight the support and services that Carers Week national partners offer to carers
The Big Lunch has heard of one such unsung hero. Beverley McCallen a Scheme Coordinator at Belfast’s Elmgrove Manor (Trinity Housing sheltered accommodation) is committed to providing care and making a difference to the lives of the residents.
Beverley joined The Big Lunch and quickly organised an inter-generational get together at Elmgrove Manor. In her role as Scheme Co-ordinator, she goes out of her way to create a channel of social interaction for older people within the whole community. Beverley has been able to encourage stronger mutual respect by increasing young people’s understanding of the needs of sheltered housing tenants. For example, her residents often go to bed early but have been kept awake by ball games in their car park late at night. The Elmgrove Big Lunch provided an opportunity to explain the impact on the residents and as a result the problem has been resolved.
This is the perfect opportunity for you to celebrate carers in your area. Go to the Carers Week website to find out more and get involved.
Neighbourhood Watch is a valued Supporter of The Big Lunch and we’re pleased to say that just as Neighbourhood Watch encourage their groups to have Big Lunches, Big Lunchers have formed Neighbourhood Watch groups as a result of the bonds built at their events.
If you are not already part of a Neighbourhood Watch group then why not join in next week’s National Neighbourhood and Home Watch campaign?
It takes place 18th - 26th June and draws members from across England and Wales together to help raise the profile of the one of the largest voluntary organisations in action today. Neighbourhood and Home Watch Week provides neighbours with an opportunity to connect and help make their area a friendly and safe place to live. Much like The Big Lunch!
The Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network (England & Wales) has just launched a great new website. It has useful instructions about how to set up a scheme in your area, materials and resources, safety advice, and information about other community initiatives local to you. To find out what is happening across England and Wales during National Neighbourhood and Home Watch Week, visit the website.
We’d love to hear from any Neighbourhood Watch members that got involved in The Big Lunch this year or would like to next year. Email us or call 0207 255 6455
As we all know, weather in the UK is unpredictable! We don’t want anything to get in the way of your fun on Big Lunch day, so here are some tips for coping with the weather, be it good or bad!
• Unsettled weather is always a possibility in the UK so make sure you have a contingency plan in place. In case of rain or wind you may well be able to use a local community centre, school hall, your garage, or a neighbour’s marquee! And anyway, bunting always looks great rippling in the wind!
• If rain is forecast and all other options fail; don’t be discouraged! Make a theme of it—get everyone to bring an umbrella, water proofs and wellies!
• Why not have a competition for the best decorated umbrella or the silliest pair of wellies.
And the Good:
• Bring along sun cream, sunglasses, hats and change for the ice cream van to avoid red faces and tears!
• Keep everyone hydrated with plenty of water and why not try making some homemade lemonade.
• If you’re having your lunch in a park or garden bring picnic blankets, sun parasols and cushions so you can really relax and get chatting.
So far weather across the UK looks set to be mild with light clouds- this may prove a relief after some scorching temperatures on Saturday.
Have a fantastic Big Lunch everyone!
Love Food Hate Waste is a national campaign which aims to reduce the UK’s food waste habit. The website features handy tips on food storage, portion calculation, and fantastic recipe ideas for boring leftovers. Love Food Hate Waste is brought to you by WRAP, who is also responsible for encouraging recycling and home composting.
Why not aim for zero food waste at your event? It’ll mean less clean up, fewer stinky rubbish bags, and that warm feeling in your heart knowing you’ve done something good for the planet, and saved some money too!
Here are some tips to get you started:
• Have a list of what people are making or bringing, and encourage everyone to include the number of servings, if they can, so you can start to get a sense of how much food there will be.
• Try to incorporate leftovers or food that needs using into the dishes that you make, such as bread and butter pudding for stale bread, and summer soup for tired veg. For ideas on love-your-leftovers recipes, check out the Love Food Hate Waste recipe index.
• Encourage everyone to bring their own plates, cups, cutlery and tupperware. Not only does it save having lots of paper plates and plastic to throw away, people are more likely to finish their plates if they have to take them home later!
• Keep the packaging that food comes in (especially things like lids to dips) so that when it’s time to clear away its easy to know where to put things.
• Who’s your compost champion? There will be unavoidable food waste no matter how you slice it. Find out if anyone has a composter or a food digester at home, and nominate them as the Compost Champion. Make it easy for your Big Lunch attendees to compost by having a few compost caddies at the event, next to rubbish bins and clearly labeled, of course.
• If your city council or local authority collects food waste, all the better. You can set up food waste bins and recycling bins, and forget rubbish altogether! Still, do aim to avoid throwing food away, as it is meant to be enjoyed by you and everyone.
Have a great party and enjoy yourselves!
Love Food Hate Waste Community Outreach Co-ordinator
Brighton & Hove Food Partnership
The Brighton & Hove Food Partnership works on a city-wide level for a more sustainable food system. Check us out at www.bhfood.org.uk. We are working in partnership with the Brighton & Hove City Council to promote the Love Food Hate Waste campaign