Early Spring is the perfect time to start sowing seeds for Big Lunch veggies; from salads and herbs, to fruits and root vegetables. For most veggies all you need is some good compost, a few pots or growing trays and a sunny spot to grow them in! Some of the easiest to grow and share at your Big Lunch are:
If (like me) this is your first time growing veggies, fear not!
We have a fab veggie-table to help you plan what to grow and when; including some tips and veg jokes to make it even more fun! You can download it and lots of other helpful resources on our Resources page.
We also have this fab new video, with Eden horticulturist, James Clarke, sharing his summer veg growing tips:
Celebrity presenter and mum of four, Jo Whiley, was on hand to launch the Kingsmill Fun Lunch Tour earlier this week. The regional tour, which is designed to bring fun to your lunchtime ahead of The Big Lunch on the 3rd June, will be travelling the length and breadth of the nation over the next month.
The first stop on the tour is Bexleyheath on the 30th April, and the final stop is in Manchester on the 29th April 2012.
The tour is part of Kingsmill’s ongoing support for The Big Lunch , and will encourage participants to join in on the day. As part of the tour children will be able to make their dream sandwich, which they can then enter in to the Fun Lunch Competition.
The best recipes will then be collated into the Fun Lunch Recipe Book, which will include 24 recipes from across the nation. Not only that, but the overall winner of the competition will win an amazing prize, which includes:
- A special appearance by Jo Whiley at their own Big Lunch
- Food, drink and entertainment for 100 people at their Big Lunch
- Chefs outfits for their whole class
- £250 Toys-R-Us vouchers
For more details about where the Fun Lunch Tour is going, visit Kingsmills facebook page.
If you work with young people or want to involve children and young people where you live with Big Lunch preparations then we’ve got just the ticket to help you out. We’ve launched a set of fab free resources for use in schools, children’s centres, youth groups and at home, for all ages. Download today to help keep your young people entertained and involved in the run up to the big day!
The Big Lunch team is also chuffed to be working with Eco-Schools across England, and we’re looking forward to hearing about lots of sustainable Big Lunches happening in school communities. Here’s a bit more about them…
The Eco-Schools programme has been running in England for over fifteen years now and has come a long way in that time. Internationally, the programme runs in over 50 countries, all with the same focus and ethos of providing schools with a simple framework to enable them along their sustainable journey.
Most recently they have launched our own Eco-Communities project to support the increased focus on community based ideas. For example they have been encouraging schools to ‘Love Where You Live’ with the latest Keep Britain Tidy Campaign, supported with ideas and resources for community based projects. They have also encouraged schools to ‘Grow Your Own’ with volunteer helpers from Homebase helping schools to become more green fingered and grow fruit and vegetables on their school grounds. And their friends at The Pod have been asking schools to think about the waste they produce with this term’s Waste Week Campaign.
Eco-Schools have also being promoting the Start Imagining creative craft programme showing students how to make items from junk, with the opportunity to enter a competition to design a model boat inspired by The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee pageant on the River Thames.
For information on how to become an Eco-School
With less than 10 weeks to go until the big day, The Mayor of Cambridge, Ian Nimmo-Smith, today called for the people of Cambridgeshire to come together in an act of community spirit and neighbourliness by hosting his very own Big Jubilee Punting Lunch on the River Cam.
The Mayor commented; “I think The Big Lunch is a wonderful idea that reminds us of some key values within our communities including kindness, friendship, inclusiveness and helping our neighbours. I would encourage as many people as possible across Cambridgeshire to get involved and either hold or take part in a Big Jubilee Lunch on Sunday 3rd June.”
We joined The Mayor, local event organisers and our friends at The Trussell Trust, aboard two boats on the river this morning. We enjoyed a leisurely and picturesque punt along the river before stopping in front of the famous King’s College campus for a very English tea party.
We travelled in style on a traditional chauffeured punt which was decked out with bunting and a giant Big Jubilee Lunch Flag. We waved Union Jack flags in celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee before tucking into a typical Big Lunch of sandwiches, pork pies and tea cakes, and sipping tea poured from our Big Jubilee Lunch tea pot!
Peter Stewart, Campaigns Director at The Big Lunch, said; “We’re delighted with the support from East Anglia. We know it can be a little daunting making the first step towards knowing your neighbours better, but by requesting a free pack, with invitations, posters and celebrity recipe ideas, from our website, getting the ball rolling is made a lot easier.”
Sara Betsworth, Big Lottery Fund Head of the Region for the East of England, added: “We’re delighted to continue supporting this initiative and encourage charities, volunteer organisations and community groups across the East to request a Big Jubilee Lunch pack from the website and to start organising their own celebrations.”
Urszula Chojnacka, Trussell Trust Cambridge FoodBank, commented: “We’re pleased to be supporting The Big Jubilee Lunch in Cambridgeshire and across the country. There are some very close synergies between the Trussell Trust and The Big Jubilee Lunch in terms of building communities where people from all backgrounds are included.
“The Big Jubilee Lunch is something that everyone can take part in and we’re encouraging Big Jubilee Lunchers to ‘Bring a Tin’ to their celebrations for donation to their closest Trussell Trust foodbank to help local people in food poverty.”
Want to be more involved in promoting The Big Lunch by sharing your experience? Then get in touch with The Big Lunch at email@example.com or call 0845 850 8181 to speak to one of the team.
Taking place across the UK and Republic of Ireland, Voluntary Arts Week is a chance for amateur arts and crafts groups to show off their activities – and encourage other people to join them.
Run by Voluntary Arts, the development agency for amateur arts and crafts participation, Voluntary Arts Week will take place e from 12 – 20 May, and is a great opportunity for you to prepare for The Big Lunch.
Why not hold a Big Lunch arts and craft workshop during Voluntary Arts Week, to get your preparations underway? You could run a bunting-making workshop, create table decorations or get a community choir together to rehearse some songs for your Big Jubilee Lunch.
Once Voluntary Arts Week arrives, the agency are asking everyone to display something in their window as part of our ‘What’s in Your Window?’ campaign. It could be anything that celebrates the art or craft form you love – a painting, a piece of knitting, a photo of you singing, even a simple sketch.
If you’re part of an arts or crafts group, why not contact your local community centre, library or shop to see if you can display your work in their window? Imagine how great it could look – houses, shops, offices and public buildings all across the UK, all with wonderful arts and crafts in their window for one special week!
Voluntary Arts Week is also encouraging arts and crafts groups to run events to highlight their activity and get more people taking part. You could:
• Run a taster session for new people to have a go
• Hold an open rehearsal to show what you’re working on
• Host a special exhibition or stage a special performance
• Take your art/craft form out into the public place (such as a shopping centre or bus station)
You can list your event on the Voluntary Arts Week website and download posters to let people in your local area know how to get involved. For more information, along with advice on how to organise an event, please visit www.voluntaryartsweek.org.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You really don’t need a garden, allotment or in fact any outdoor space at all to grow some fab veggies and salads in time for The Big Lunch in June. There are many plants which grow happily on a windowsill in yogurt pots, takeaway carton and even old boots! Almost anything can be transformed into a quirky plant pot; providing your plant receives plenty of light, water and space to grow.
If you fancy being adventurous and growing your veggies or salads in old recycled objects Steve Burrell, from Eden Projects Horticulture team, shares his three top tips on giving them the best start:
Check out our film featuring Eden Project’s horticulturist Catherine Cutler, who shows us how easy it is to sow The Big Lunch Speedy Lettuce seeds:
For more tips and advice of growing your own for your Big Lunch, check out our ideas pages for some inspiration. We will updating them regularly over the coming months to share top tips from the Big Lunch team, Eden horticulturists and even Big Lunchers themselves!
Don’t Forget: If you are growing your own Big Lunch seeds please share your stories and photos with me by emailing Trudi.email@example.com
The Big Lunch has teamed up with Catch22 and National Citizen Service (NCS) to get more young people involved in this year’s Big Lunch. catch22 NCS provides young people in Year 11 from all backgrounds, and with varying abilities, with the opportunity and support to take on new challenges, learn new skills and make a difference.
A few weeks ago, we met up with NCS and their partners Young Advisors and recorded a YouTube mission for all the kids, also known as Developers, to take part in. Every couple of weeks Young Advisors record a new YouTube Mission detailing how NCS Developers and Ambassadors can support their project. These missions focus on themes such as planning fundraising, supporting recruitment, or how to get your community involved. Our YouTube Mission was to find out more about The Big Lunch and think about planning one in their community.
Another way in which young people will get a taste of The Big Lunch is by taking part in Catch22NCS Spring in 2 Action. This is a community engagement day on 5th April 2012 where young people across the country will be taking part in this summer will go in to their community completing bingo style missions to get to know their local area better and get a taste of the inspiring social action phase later on in the year as well as raising money to help young people access the programme or toward a pot to help raise their social action project off the ground.
Getting young people more involved in their communities is really important and not necessarily a difficult task! The big Lunch is a great way to start making a difference.
For more information on Catch22 NCS and Young Advisors, visit their website.
Scrapstores and resource centres are usually community led organisations that accept materials that would otherwise be destined for landfill. These unused materials from local industry and businesses are normally new and unused off-cuts of raw materials or manufacturing seconds.
ScrapstoresUK’s is the latest charity to pledge its support for The Big Lunch. With 90 scrapstores across the UK there is a bounty of scrap materials just waiting to be put to good use to decorate the thousands of Big Lunch events across the UK on the 3rd of June 2012.
Gary King, Chair of scrapstoresUK said: “ScrapstoresUK is calling upon the 80,000 community group members of scrapstores across the UK to join in with this wonderful expression of community togetherness and visit your local scrapstore to make sure your Big Lunch is spectacular!”
This year our Big Bunting Competition for schools and community groups is to create the longest and most interesting bunting chain and scrapstores are on hand to make sure that entrants to the competition are able to access a wealth of materials in all shapes, colours and textures that include fabric, foam, paper and plastic. The Big Lunch team and scrapstoresUK can’t wait to see the end results!
Scrapstores also play an important role in educating the general public in ‘reuse’ and how it differs from ‘recycling’: there is no costly, transportation or processing with reuse, instead materials tend to stay local. ScrapstoresUK and those within the scrapstore network are helping to change a generation’s attitude towards production, consumption and waste.
Every scrapstore, is run by a small but committed group of people many or all of which are volunteers which is why scrapstoresUK’s support is so important. That is why the charity scrapstoresUK was created: to share the network’s knowledge, to support, connect and promote scrapstores with a common voice.
ScrapstoresUK is to help scrapstores increase their membership, supplies of scrap and funding to ensure their sustainability. To find your nearest scrapstore or to support us by promoting scrapstores, become a member or donating: time, money or scrap resources, visit: www.scrapstoresuk.org
Walking home last night, it struck me that the thing I find most dispiriting about where we live is all the grey concrete and tarmac.
This evening the children solved that problem for me. A neighbouring child called round, and had to almost drag my children out by the hair, so goggled-eyed and lethargic were they from too much screen time.
They headed out with a box of chalks and began an impromptu street art competition. More flocked to join them. Soon there were seven kids, aged between 2 and 9, pouring their creative souls onto the vast blank canvas of the pavement - bringing brightness, exuberance, colour and life to the paths we daily tread.
Last year when dreaming up our Big Lunch, I wanted to suggest painting a mural on the grey wall at the end of our estate. It being our first Big Lunch in the community, and organising it single-handedly, I didn’t want to put noses out of joint, or foist my mad creative projects on unwilling victims.
I love community art projects. A few years back I co-chaired a local arts festival. One of our most popular events was the family sand-sculpting competition on the beach.
This year I have a feeling there will be another pavement art competition for the Big Lunch, and perhaps a mural too – even if it’s just in chalks.
What artistic plans have you for your Big Lunch or Big Jubilee Lunch?
Written by Big Lunch Champion Lucy Pearce
Free spirited freelance writer and contributing editor, JUNO magazine.
The Duchess of Cornwall has agreed to become Patron of The Big Jubilee Lunch. Today a group of six young organisers from a local school met Her Royal Highness to discuss their plans with her. The children, from St Peter’s Eaton Square primary school, with their faces painted in Union Jack colours, knocked on the door of Clarence House, which was opened by The Duchess of Cornwall. She invited the children inside, entertained them in the Garden Room, chatted about their Diamond Jubilee celebration plans, and enjoyed the cupcakes they had made as a gift for their hostess.
At the end of the visit, the children asked The Duchess of Cornwall to become Patron of The Big Jubilee Lunch, which she gladly agreed to do.
Communities across the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth are being encouraged to hold lunches on Sunday, June 3rd as part of the main programme for The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations. Street parties, garden gatherings and picnics will unite the nation as neighbours, friends and family gather to celebrate over the Bank holiday week end.
The Big Jubilee Lunch has evolved from The Big Lunch which is run by the Eden Projectas a simple idea to encourage people to sit down with their neighbours on one day. Since 2009, thousands of Big Lunches have taken place across the United Kingdom and in 2011 the number of participants doubled to the best part of two million. This year, a record number of people are expected to take part.
Organisers of The Big Jubilee Lunch are delighted. Peter Stewart, Campaigns Director, says: “We are thrilled and proud that The Duchess of Cornwall is to be the Patron of The Big Jubilee Lunch. And it was thrilling for the children who visited her to be treated so warmly by Her Royal Highness in her home. It is a huge boost to our ambition to get as many people in the UK and throughout the Commonwealth to sit with their neighbours and have lunch as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. The original idea for The Big Lunch came from Cornwall so it feels particularly apt that our patron is in fact The Duchess of Cornwall.”
You can see a video of the day here