REPRESENTATIVES from a national charity stopped in Forres to discuss an event to be organised in the area for the third year running.
The Eden Project communities team were at the town hall to discuss The Big Lunch which took place over the last two summers at Transition Town Forres and Grant Park. The Eden Project want as many people as possible to get into the picnic spirit, grab a blanket, neighbours, friends, sandwiches and have a Big Lunch on June 1 and 2.
Richard Lochhead MSP attended the workshop and expressed support for the event.
He said: “It was great to hear how the initiative helps to bring people in communities together. There are many social benefits to people being more connected and it’s clear that The Big Lunch is making a difference to communities right across the country. The Scottish Government recently published its strategy for tackling loneliness and social isolation, and projects like The Big Lunch can play a vital part in that agenda.”
He added: “Forres has a fantastic community spirit, and I pay tribute to those who have organised big lunch events in the past – I hope that they’ll continue.”
Big Lunchers provided first-hand accounts of the power of the Big Lunch in bringing people together, offering suggestions arising from their experience throughout the workshop.
Kirsty Williams of Forres Area Community Trust, the creative force behind last June’s Big Lunch in Grant Park, helped organise the workshop.
She said: “It was an informative day and my colleague Vicky and I have already arranged a planning meeting for March 19, inviting different groups along so we can all work together to make The Big Lunch a success this year.”
Discussions led to possible future Big Lunches in the town hall, the Findhorn Foundation and Hopeman, to add to those planned for streets and gardens around Moray.
One participant, native to Forres but working in Gairloch promised to take the Big Lunch to the west coast after attending the workshop.
Over 40,000 people in Scotland took part in The Big Lunch last year.
Free starter packs, tips and ideas can be found at www.thebiglunch.com or by calling 0845 850 8181.