When the community of Gateside in Fife got together for their Big Jubilee Lunch, the aim of the day, as well as paying tribute to Her Royal Highness, was to make everyone feel included and welcome, to share lunch together and to enjoy each other’s company.
“That’s what Gateside is all about”, one of the organisers, Kathryn, described, “We are much more than just neighbours!”
It is this sentiment that has seen the community recently awarded the title of Tesco Magazine’s UK’s Friendliest Street 2012! Congratulations Gateside!!
Having received 32% of the public vote, they have been presented with £5000 to spend on a community celebration of their choice because of their ‘outstanding acts of kindness and community spirit.’ Although only being a small village, everyone got behind the competition and the community is delighted with the result!
As it may now be clear, Gateside is a small but very friendly place, with locals demonstrating the ethos behind The Big Lunch really well- values to do with community, working together and communicating with each other. The Fife village are an active community, helping each other out in practical ways through skill-swapping. One neighbour acts as maths tutor, another fixes bikes and many more skills are shared, expertise exchanged. They have set up neighbourhood gardening projects and ensure the maintenance of the village and green spaces are kept up between them. Raising funds through coffee mornings and ceilidhs lets the village organise bus trips for older residents and parties and discos for the kids.
Proactive and pioneering, Gateside demonstrate what can be achieved by residents when you collaborate with one another and are a great Big Lunch example to other neighbours wanting to come together in order to start some conversations and build up community ties. Their new title is well deserved and we hope Gateside enjoy their celebration!!
How is your community working together? Let us know at email@example.com
Eco-chef, Tom Hunt works on projects all around the country such as Forgotten Feast and Feed the 5,000 to help save food from being wasted unnecessarily. Tom and his team believe that bringing value to your food helps you waste less.
With this idea in mind Tom has been busily working away on ‘Cleo’, his sourdough ‘starter’ or yeast mix that you feed over the course of three days by mixing flour and water, then adding more flour and water on a feeding cycle to keep the natural fermentation fresh and flavourful. There are millions of wild yeasts in the air and on the flour itself. By keeping them in a jar and feeding them you can increase the growth of the yeast to make bread.
The idea is to make enough Cleo to then pass on to your friends, family and neighbours so that they can then follow the same process and pass it on to their friend’s families and neighbours!
Toms says, ‘Cleo has been passed between hundreds of friends in the UK and Europe already and she makes a very tasty loaf of bread indeed. If you would like to make Cleo, keep your ears open, and subscribe to www.tomsfeast.com for recipes and blogs. I give little pots of Cleo away at all my events so I’m sure it won’t be long before a friend passes one onto you.’
Click here to watch Tom’s step by step video on how to make cleo the friendship bread.
We’d love to see some Big Lunchers getting baking…
Roll up, roll up… NoFit State Circus has returned to Eden and rehearsals are underway for the brand new spectacular, BIANCO, which will be performed between 28 July and 2 September 2012 – a fantastic treat for all ages. This is the world premiere of BIANCO and since it’s all undercover, the fun is totally weather proof.
Dazzling circus skills combine with spinetingling aerial acrobatics and live music to take you on a journey of transformation on a dramatic and epic scale. Join us at Eden and marvel at the beauty of the spectacle taking place around and above you and let yourself become immersed in the wonderful and unexpected world of BIANCO.
It’s amazing what can be achieved when people unite and share their skills! If you’ve got a few minutes, read how NoFit State circus became the success they are today and inspire others to follow the less travelled path to do what your heart desires.
We are proud to announce that The Thomas Eaton CP School of Wimblington, Cambridge is the official winner of the Big Bunting Competition for 2012!! Their total length of individually decorated bunting came in at a whopping 457.2metres.
Children at Thomas Eaton CP School along with members from the PTA and local sewing club helped to create this amazing achievement. As part of The Big Bunting Challenge every child and teacher at Thomas Eaton designed their own flag to be added to the bunting. Some designs were jubilee themed, and others were the children’s own designs designed around their individual interests.
Thomas Eaton is a small village primary school with around 160 pupils, which pride themselves on their “community spirit” attitude. They rely on the good will of PTA members, parents and the wider community to achieve these challenges. Michelle Harrison from Thomas Eaton PTA says ‘It is an honour to be announced the official winners of The Big Lunch Bunting Competition after a staggering 457.2m of cutting and sewing to put together our bunting, it has made it all worthwhile. We are all extremely proud of our achievement.’
As a result of children’s excitement and enthusiasm in taking part in the Big Bunting Challenge, their £60 arts equipment prize for the school has inspired them to create more permanent works of art not only to brighten up the school but to have something they can be proud of for many years to come.
Thank you to everyone that entered into the Big Lunch Bunting Competition for 2012, we had some really incredible entries and are already excited about opening the competition again in 2013!
Do you think you know what kind of projects would work in your area, but lack the funding to make it happen? Big Local is an exciting opportunity for residents in 150 areas around England to use at least £1m to make a massive and lasting positive difference to their communities. It’s about bringing together all the local talent, ambitions, skills and energy from individuals, groups and organisations who want to make their area an even better place to live.
In June this year, many Big Local areas from across the country were involved in organising community celebrations for The Big Lunch as an opportunity to meet and talk to more residents about Big Local in their area. We worked with several Big Local areas to help get their Lunches organised, including Northfleet Gravesham Kent, Woodlands Doncaster and Livesey Ward in Peckham.
The Big Lunch was selected as a good opportunity for communities to work together on fun events that would help communities start bigger conversations.
Residents of St Blazey, Par and Tywardreath in Cornwall, for example, will be getting together this month for a chance to help decide how their money should be spent locally.
Par Bay Local Partnership’s ‘Big Giveaway’ is to be held at the town hall, where a number of local groups have put forward bids for funds for projects they wish to carry out. These range from a skateboard park and an eco-friendly sports and community centre, to a club for the deaf and hard of hearing – and support for running a zumba class!
Each group will have a brief chance to make its pitch to those who come along, and to answer questions from them. Once everyone has had their say, all present will be able to vote for the projects that they think ought to receive funding.
Chairman of the Par Bay Local Partnership, Doug Scrafton, said:
‘We have a unique opportunity here. It’s not often that this sort of money is given to an area such as ours – and even less often that it is the residents themselves who get to say how it should be spent. This event marks an important step in our work to find out exactly how local people wish to see the funds invested, and we hope that as many as possible will come along.”
If you would like to have your say where you live, or if you would like to discuss your own ideas for projects that could be part of the next round of funding, find your Big Local rep on their map here
Big Local is being run by Local Trust, which is working with £200m from the Big Lottery Fund and a range of partners providing expert advice and support for residents.
Catherine Black a community officer at Larne Borough Council heard about The Big Lunch concept and gave the campaign her support, sharing it with groups across the borough and bringing the idea to a meeting of the Antrim Coast Lions Club which she belongs to.
Catherine Tells us they hosted their first Big Lunch in the summer of 2012 celebrating the passing of the Olympic Torch Relay through beautiful Carnlough, a harbour village on the Antrim coast in Northern Ireland.
“Hosting a BBQ at the harbour, with music by Peter Steele & Willie Gill was a great way to occupy local people who waited with anticipation to catch a glimpse of the Olympic torch.” says Lions Club member– Catherine Black …“ We like The Big Lunch concept and Carnlough was very lucky as we had two local faces carrying the torch Ciaran Kinney a local Primary teacher and local para-olympian Diane Mc Millan, in fact The Big Lunch was so well received we hope to make it a regular feature here.”
Antrim Coast Lions Club are no strangers to hard work, with an amazing track record of fundraising and community events and theyopened a charity shop in the village and now lead The Carnlough Charity Carnival, a 10 day series of more than 100 events aims to provide entertainment for all ages and enhance the profile of the village, while also raising money for good causes.
This years commenced 27th July with Fancy Dress Parade complete with Samba Band and finished with a Carnival Firework Finale BBQ at the harbour – local people from miles around enjoy this annual event, and many return home from England at this time, sure to run into a few old friends.
Catherine and her fellow Lions club members make a real difference to local people and to those less fortunate in other communites the world over and they have fun doing it. This year they tied everything together and celebrated Local volunteers with their Big Lunch, but we’re sure lots of people raised a glass to their own marvelous efforts.
With the concept of ‘strengthening communities’ being a driving ethos behind the work of RIBI (Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland), a link-up with The Big Lunch was really quite natural this year. RIBI believe that ‘society works best when people work together’ and so does The Big Lunch. We’re pleased to hear that lots of clubs got involved this year – here are some highlights….
Beginning in Scotland, Elgin Rotary Club embraced The Big Lunch ethic with enthusiasm, making it a part of their celebratory weekend for the Jubilee. Brodie Ross, one of the organisers, said: “We started off with our Street Pageant which travelled the length of the High Street. I am advised that the crowd was 5 deep. When the Pageant got to Cooper Park, The Big Lunch began. We estimate that 2000 people were there!”
Guests had great fun playing petanque and practiced their golf chipping at a garden party held by the Rotary Club of Dunbar’s president, a collection on the day also raising £175 for a number of charities supported by the club.
Travelling down the country, highlights included a Big Lunch street party in the town centre of Cockermouth, Cumbria, organized through a partnership between the local Rotary Club and the town’s Chamber of Trade. Entertainment on the day included stilt walkers and lots of music. Nearby, in the neighbouring town of Windermere and surrounding areas, Rotary Club members individually hosted a number of Big Lunches, inviting their communities to get together in Rotary and Big Lunch spirit.
Rotary clubs in Preston were key supporters of the Preston Sikh Communities cultural Big Jubilee ‘Langar’. The term, effectively means ‘free kitchen’ with aims to provide free food to people of all backgrounds, designed to uphold the principle of equality. Hundreds of people attended The Big Jubilee Lunch extravaganza at Northfield Park supported by the Rotary Club of Blaby and other community groups whilst the center-piece for the Rotary Big Jubilee picnic in Gorleston-on-Sea was the town’s impressive bandstand where bands played a mix of music all day.
The results of working together as organisations demonstrate the importance of community and collaboration behind RIBI and The Big Lunch, with Rotarians across the country organizing some brilliant Big Lunches!
Did your club hold a Big Lunch this year? Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find out more about the great work of Rotary here http://www.ribi.org/
Saturday, June 2nd in a sunny Govan, Glasgow. The ‘road closed’ sign is out, bunting hung and even the odd couch or two has been lifted out onto the street. Locals out doing their morning shop look on curiously. Tables begin to appear strewn with plates of party snacks. Co-ordinating it all are Glasgow charity Starter Packs’ Sarah and Claire, the thinkers behind and organisers of today’s event- The Big ‘Govan Sparkles’ Lunch.
Starter Packs Glasgow work in Govan providing practical help to those moving from homelessness to setting up a new home. Today they have closed the street they work from and have invited residents to join in and celebrate their area.
“We want to honor the diamond that is Govan and its people. We’ve encouraged everyone to bring and share a dish, but also their memories of how Govan used to be. We hope it’ll remind people that good things do happen here”, Sarah explains.
Local folks start to appear, interested to see what’s going on. Sipping on cups of hot soup, they chat away to each other around the Big Lunch tables or whilst peering into window displays set up to showcase 60 years of Govan. Music begins and face-painted kids start to plonk themselves down on the couches where a crafty lady sits with a bag full of wool, teaching them to knit-and it all comes together!
Very happy with how the day is going so far Sarah highlights the reasons behind all the festivities: “We just want to give Govan something to celebrate because we work here day in day out and know that given a chance, Govan can sparkle. It’s all about coming together over something that’s not about struggling for resources but celebrating us and where we come from.”
The ‘Diamond Champions’ campaign are on the hunt for our priceless generation of unsung heroes aged over 60 who volunteer to help others in our communities. The closing date Friday 27th July fast approaches so nominate someone you know today.
The ‘Diamond Champions’ campaign is a nationwide search, spearheaded by TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, which seeks to reward and acknowledge the wonderful contributions made to society by volunteers over 60 years of age.
Eight regions across the country are being encouraged to nominate people in their local areas who really make a difference to their communities. For more information on how to nominate and the campaign more generally, visit http://www.wrvs.org.uk/get-involved/diamond-champions
It’s quick and easy to nominate someone but they need to give you permission. All nominations will be sent to regional judging panels and the 480 short listed ‘Diamond Champions’ (60 from each region) will be presented with a specially designed lapel pin and certificate signed by Their Royal Highnesses at a Reception in their Region. In addition, 10 individuals from each area will be invited to a Reception at St James’s Palace in the Autumn, hosted by The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall.
Our communities rely so heavily on the input of volunteers and in particular the older generation so please nominate someone you know and encourage others to do so.
The campaign is being run by the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service and their partner organisation in Northern Ireland, Engage with Age.
Nominations must be in by theclosing deadline of Friday 27th July.
The sun may not be shining much this summer, but Eden Project have lined up some truly inspiring events to keep the sparkle in our eyes and smiles on our faces! From circus acts and Dr Seuss’ Lorax to horticultural, environmental and food talks and courses; there is something for everyone.
You can find a full list of their calender of events on their whats on web page, but here are a few of our favourites:
The award winning NoFit State circus is returning to Eden this summer (28 July – 2 September 2012) for an exclusive and exhilarating new show – Bianco!
The show will take place entirely under cover, in the Eden Project’s Stage structure. So, even if the weather is miserable, you’ll be loving the spectacular show around you!
Exclusive Friends events
These regular membership events are specially designed for Eden Friends, offering a programme of talks, tours and demonstrations that focus on everything from gardening to the environment to good food. Past events have included a talk from Alan Titchmarsh, a demonstration from ethnobotanist James Wong, guided tours of the Biomes with edens expert horticulturalists, and even a trip abroad to the real rainforest.
whether you’re a keen amateur, beginning a career in horticulture or thinking of changing your career and going into horticulture, the Eden Project have joined forces with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE), to produce a series of fascinating courses.
The programme of eight one-day practical gardening sessions, now in its fifth year, is taught by the experts in the Eden Horticultural Team. The eight sessions can be enjoyed as an individual day, from £50, or booked all eight to receive a 10% discount. Dates run between Sat 8 Sept 2012 – Fri 15 June 2013.
This three-day ‘introduction to botanical drawing and illustration’ course, set in the rich surroundings of Eden’s gardens, guides beginners and improvers through the basics of creating beautiful botanical drawings.
The course is suitable for complete beginners and improvers, and costs £180 per person for the weekend.
If you can’t get yourself down to any of the events happening this summer, you can still try your chances at winning this fantastic prize of a luxury five-night holiday for two on Tresco, Isles of Scilly; courtesy of the Eden Summer raffle.
If you are holding your Big Lunch this summer, or enjoying another event with your friends and neighbours – we would love to hear what you are up to! Email email@example.com or call for a chat on 0845 850 8181