If you need an excuse to get the neighbours together again before the next Big Lunch, why not invite them round for a bite to eat on Sunday and raise some cash for animals in need as part of the RSPCA’s Big Sunday Lunch. This could even be your first planning meeting for The Big Lunch 2012 – it’s never too early to allocate roles and enlist volunteers!
Simply invite friends, family and neighbours to your Big Sunday Lunch and ask them to donate however much they think your lovely meal is worth. Tuck into delicious RSPCA Freedom Food and feel great knowing you’re raising funds to save animals from cruelty. Don’t forget to register at http://www.bigsundaylunch.co.uk for menus, invitations, quizzes, games and fantastic competition prizes!
This weekend lots of you will be embarking on some ghoulish fun with family and friends in your neighbourhood.
What better time to either meet your neighbours for the first time or just get re-acquainted with them as you trick-or-treat around your local streets in fancy dress!
The Big Lunch team and the Eden Project love Halloween as it’s a great excuse for a get together and a bit of warming food and chatter. Check out our Recipes and Decoration pages for ideas to make your Halloween a spooky success. Why not make some creepy crawly Veg-table decorations with the kids.
The Eden Project even has its very own “Halloweden” festival, visit their website for further ideas and to find out what’s happening. Explore the Wishcraft Tent, go ice skating and go mad at the Little Monsters’ Ball Halloween Disco!
If you live in London Kigu are celebrating the most fun and debaucherous night of the year by putting on a Halloween Party in association with Red Stag by Jim Beam which promises to be the biggest and best fancy dress party taking place in London this year!
Tickets are priced at £15 and are only available in the Shop at Kigu. Pull your witches finger out – they’re going fast! Over 18s only.
The Big Lunch Support Officers already have Penguin and Seal Kigu costumes for their Halloween adventures…
Have a great Halloween and don’t forget to introduce yourself to your neighbours!
HOPE is calling for churches across the country to be at the hub of community celebrations for The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations next year. The aim to see millions of people celebrate together on their streets has inspired HOPE to encourage churches to prepare for and become involved in The Big Jubilee Lunch.
Steve Clifford, Chair of HOPE and General Director of the Evangelical Alliance said “Communities really come together over a national celebration like this”. HOPE endeavors to build partnerships and encourage the whole UK Church to get involved in word and deed mission within their communities.
To help build a bigger sense of community, churches, small groups and individuals can get involved with street parties and lunches on their own streets, wherever they live in the UK. As churches are one of the few institutions that are in nearly every single town, village and city it is hoped that members of every denomination will use creative ways to get involved or possibly offer their catering facilities.
Roy Crowne, HOPE’s Executive Director, said: “This is a calendar moment and an unmissable opportunity to make connections in your area, to be part of building up your community and to encourage others through our words and actions”.
HOPE and the Evangelical Alliance will provide practical advice and inspiration to encourage church involvement in The Big Lunch 2012 across the UK.
If you’ve not heard about it before The Heroes Return 2 scheme provides Lottery funding to help World War II veterans that saw active service and are resident in the UK or the Republic of Ireland to take part in commemorative visits (within the UK and overseas) to mark the anniversary of events that led to the end of WWII.
The Heroes Return 2 programme has been extended and the closing date for applications is now 31st January 2012!
In most cases widows or widowers are also able to apply and veterans can also be accompanied by a spouse and/or a carer. If you have a WWII veteran in your family or a neighbour who fought in WWII veteran this is a great scheme to commemorate their service and do something special for them.
Since 2004 over 50,000 people have made commemorative trips with funding from BIG’s Heroes Return schemes with grants totalling over £24 million.
Applicants can apply for a fixed amount grant of between £150 and £5,500 depending on the number of people taking part and the destination. It is difficult to determine demand precisely, so The Big Lottery Fund have decided to focus on supporting each eligible application and meeting the demand as and when it occurs until the deadline for applications, which is 31 January 2012.
Check out their blog to read some of the wonderful stories.
For further questions about the scheme and to find out if you are eligible, ring the application helpline on 0845 0000 121 or email The Big Lottery Fund at email@example.com
We’re currently looking for volunteers to help grow the success of The Big Lunch in 2012 by promoting the initiative to friends, family, colleagues and anyone that will listen!
As a Big Lunch Champion, you ‘ll get involved by simply helping to spread The Big Lunch message ,coming along to our promotional events and distributing materials.
Organising a community event can be daunting, so we need our Champions to provide support and information to others organising an event locally. You don’t have to have organised a Big Lunch yourself to be a Champion, but if you have, it will be your job to share your knowledge and experience with newcomers in your area.
This is a voluntary role that we hope will be enjoyable and rewarding. It will be a great opportunity to spread the Eden message and connect with other community spirited people in your area, and we’ll be offering little incentives throughout th year to make it worth your while!
To find out more about becoming a Big Lunch Champion contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 255 6455.
If you feel that the Champions role isn’t quite right for you, but would like to share your experience with us, how about becoming a Big Lunch Spokesperson? Contact Fay Richards for more information: email@example.com or 0207 255 6482.
Today the National Confederation of Parent Teacher Associations (NCPTA) is re-launching as the PTA-UK—for Northern Ireland and Wales the NCPTA will respectively become PTA-NI and PTA-Cymru while remaining part of the wider PTA-UK.
After the NCPTA consulted with key stakeholder organisations, such as those representing governors and head teachers, they received unanimous agreement that the name ‘PTA-UK’ would be more effective in promoting the work of PTAs
In the 55 years since the NCPTA formed is has grown to represent 13,600 PTAs across England, Wales and Northern Ireland which collectively contribute £100 million to schools every year.
The NCPTA’s transition into PTA-UK signifies the launch of an important extension to the support and services provided to PTAs, giving members access to a whole range of online benefits including file storage and a PTA-to-parent email service. These will let PTAs work more effectively and increase the support they can offer to schools. We think this will make promoting, organising and holding Big Lunches within schools’ communities much easier and an even bigger success.
David Butler, chief executive, NCPTA said, “As a membership organisation, nothing is more important to us than our members and attracting new PTAs into the fold; we don’t want any PTA to be out there on their own struggling for new ideas or wondering what event licence they need. The charity’s name has become out-dated and no longer resonates with the 130,000 PTA volunteers that we support every day”.
“This is a tremendously exciting time with PTAs continuing to go from strength-to-strength and PTA-UK looking forward to offering many more years of service.”
Make sure your PTA knows about The Big Jubilee Lunch 2012 and get your community and school together on Sunday 3rd June for a Big Lunch.
The Jubilee Time Capsule is an innovative online archive that aims to tell the people’s history of the last 60 years.
It’s a Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS) initiative asking people from across the globe to share their memories of the last six decades and help to build this exciting history.
Like the Big Lunch, the Jubilee Time Capsule will form part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations next year and the best entries will be showcased in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen in 2012.
The Jubilee Time Capsule timeline runs from 6th February 1952 to 6th June 2012, commemorating the 60 years that make up The Queen’s reign and Headship of the Commonwealth. Those 60 years equate to roughly 22,000 days and the RCS want to fill each day with a memory.
So far people have entered memories about weddings, school days, natural disasters, community issues and national days to name a few. The RCS is now calling on Big Lunchers to share their memories with the Jubilee Time Capsule.
The Jubilee Time Capsule is about sharing stories that are important to you, your family and community. Similarly the Big Lunch is about bringing family, neighbours and communities together. This year the Big Lunch took place on Sunday 5th June and the Jubilee Time Capsule wants to know how your community took part.
Whether it was a garden party, a street party, or you held your Big Lunch in the community hall, why not share memories of your day with the Jubilee Time Capsule and help to build a Big Lunch collection?
Photos, video, audio and text can all be used to help tell your story. All you need to do is to visit www.jubileetimecapsule.org, sign up and start contributing, just remember to tag your contribution with ‘Big Lunch’.
Share your Big Lunch story and take part in building this exciting people’s history!
This year’s Big Lunch, which took place on Sunday 5th June, saw the largest number of Big Lunches ever. The best part of 2 million people got together with neighbours to share food, make friends and more importantly – have fun! People of all ages across the UK took part from neighbourhood streets, gardens and parks to churches, community centres and even the local pub! And considering over a third of lunches had over 50 attendees, it sounds like it was a pretty big knees up!
It has been fantastic to hear your stories and see all the great photos taken by organisers and attendees. We’ve received some truly inspiring feedback from Big Lunchers who have reported positive results in their community following their lunch –an overwhelming 95% of organisers say The Big Lunch has been good for their community!
The Big Lunch proved not to just be useful for creating a great sense of community, attendees also found it a was great chance to enjoy good food, learn new things about the place they live in and nearly half the attendees said they simply enjoyed a good old street party! And with 87% of organisers meeting new people at the event, we hope to see more of you planning your own street parties next year!
But that’s not the only reason to get involved. When we asked this year’s Big Lunchers why you should have a Big Lunch…
• 89% said it encouraged sense of community
• 10% saw it as a good opportunity to raise money for charity
• 89% thought it brought generations together
We’re really excited about next year especially as despite poor weather 86% of organisers are likely to take part again next year. And we expect to see some new faces too as 97% of attendees said they would recommend The Big Lunch to friends and family!
We’ve already started planning for next year’s event, which falls on the Queens Diamond Jubilee on Sunday 3rd June so if you want to celebrate the Queen’s 60 year reign you can opt for a Big Jubilee Lunch pack when you register! And considering 10 million people took the streets in 1977 for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, 2012 looks to be even bigger than ever before!
Want to be more involved in promoting The Big Lunch by sharing your experience?
Find out about being a Big Lunch Spokesperson by contacting Fay Richards: firstname.lastname@example.org or 0207 255 6482. And find out about our new Champion role by contacting Kate Groves: email@example.com or 0207 255 6455
By Trudi Holden
There are now just two weeks to go until CSV Make a Difference Day on 29 October 2011!
Tens of thousands of people will be joining forces to make a difference in their communities, with many activities focussed around this year’s theme of combating loneliness and isolation.
Make a Difference Day also provides volunteers themselves with the chance to meet new people, have fun and become part of an active and inclusive community. Last year a whopping 70,000 volunteers took part in over 2,000 activities, ranging from hosting a tea party at a local day care centre, to renovating a homeless shelter or teaching people how to use the internet.
Already there are some fantastic activities planned, ranging from intergenerational WW2 projects, creating allotments and community clean-ups, to helping neighbours with home renovations.
If you’ve registered but not yet requested the campaign handbook or How-to Guides for this year, you can now download them from the website by visiting the resources page and following the link to CSV’s downloads section, or by getting in touch with them to request copies in the post.
Every year 50,000 people in the UK are told “you have breast cancer”.
To mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month we are sharing the story of two lovely Big Lunch sisters. We at The Big Lunch think this is a really important cause and we want to raise awareness amongst women of the need to do regular checks.
Sisters Natasha Copeland and Louise Gill took part in The Big Lunch 2011 even though they were on opposite sides of the world.
Natasha who lives in Magheramorne, Northern Ireland and Louise who lives in Semaphore, South Australia, both organised a Big Lunch to raise money for breast cancer charities. Natasha was inspired to join The Big Lunch campaign in Northern Ireland after volunteering to organise a community event and bunting workshop to raise money for local breast cancer charity Pretty ‘n’ Pink in Magheramore, County Antrim.
Natasha says “When I was approached by the Eden Project to join in I knew straight away I wanted to get involved and give something back to my community. I then decided to also raise money for breast cancer and it just grew and grew.” Motivated by Natasha’s enthusiastic personality lots of local people in Magheramore, volunteered to get involved and do their bit to raise funds, resulting in a fantastic event strengthening community spirit.
This was an event with a difference as over 9000 miles away in Semaphore, South Australia, Natasha’s sister held a Big Lunch picnic down under to thank her friends and neighbours for their support when she went through chemotherapy. While celebrating Louise and her friend Sue beating breast cancer they also released balloons for a very close friend of Louise’s who died from lung cancer this time last year.
Interestingly the sisters met only 11 years ago as Louise was adopted when she was a baby and taken to Australia. Louise found her mum just weeks before coming to England for a holiday and from that moment Natasha says, “we connected and it was like she has always been part of the family”.
“We have such a close bond; we are sisters and best friends. We are alike in many ways; sharing a passion for all things vintage and a love for interior design. Louise’s fight with breast cancer helped Natasha and her family decide to emigrate, join forces and open shop together down under. We wish the sisters every success!
Pretty ‘n’ Pink is the only registered breast cancer charity in Northern Ireland. It is run by a very small team of people including a breast cancer survivor and local volunteers from across the province. Funds raised by Pretty ‘n’ Pink supporters are used to provide practical help and support for breast cancer patients and their families in Northern Ireland.
Pretty ‘n’ Pink Aims to:
- Create awareness of breast cancer in Northern Ireland especially in young women.
- Provide funds for patients most in need of assistance.
- Improve quality of life of breast cancer patients and their families in the best way possible.
Pretty ‘n’ Pink has said “The Big Lunch is a fantastic opportunity for local people to come together and share lunch in a show of community spirit. We are very grateful to Natasha for using her project to help support and raise awareness of Pretty ‘n’ Pink, and hope that we can take part in further Big Lunch Projects in 2012”.
Take a look at the images from both events http://flic.kr/s/aHsjveN1r5