DURING June, the #MonthofCommunity will see charities and communities across the UK coming together to reconnect, celebrate and fundraise for local good causes that have struggled over the past year.
Anthea has pledged her support to the initiative and is encouraging other communities and charities to celebrate the Month of Community by throwing a Big Lunch.
During a visit to meet children and young people who are beneficiaries of Action for Children, Anthea joined in their Big Lunch event at a vital drop-in centre in North London. As well as helping to hand out food and presents, Anthea was able to find out more about the specific challenges that charities faced in lockdown after a year that has turned millions of lives upside down.
Anthea Turner, Action for Children supporter, said:
“I am absolutely overjoyed to be part of Action for Children’s Big Lunch, celebrating the wonderful Action for Children family. I’ve worked with them for many years now and know the amazing work they do for children, young people and families up and down the country. The kids and I had lots of fun today, so I’d encourage everyone to get together for their own Big Lunch and if they can fundraise for this fantastic charity at the same time, even better!”
Melanie Armstrong, Chief Executive at Action for Children, said:
“Action for Children is at the heart of communities right across the UK, and we wanted to hold a Big Lunch to celebrate this, as well as all of our incredible frontline staff who have been working tirelessly over the past year to support vulnerable families everywhere throughout the pandemic. We’re encouraging as many of our supporters as possible to hold their own Big Lunch and raise much-needed funds so that we can ensure more vulnerable children have safe and happy childhoods.”
Peter Stewart, Eden Project Executive Director, founder of The Big Lunch, said:
“It’s been one of the toughest years, hitting the most vulnerable people in our communities hardest. That’s why it’s more important than ever to have a Big Lunch to show our support for the good causes that keep people going. The Big Lunch is a great way to connect, meet and have fun, and it’s brilliant for fundraising too. A whopping £8m is raised each year at The Big Lunch with fundraising ideas like crazy cake sales, pot-luck raffles, pay-as-you-feel BBQs or silly-stuff auctions. If you’re a charity wanting to thank or recruit volunteers or have a campaign to share, why not do that with a big lunch? We want to see more people coming together, having fun, and helping each other out too.”
Food and presents for the Action for Children Big Lunch delighted kids, and meant families received lunch and packed food bundles to take home, plus gifts of bubbles and outdoor games including bowling sets, paddling pools and water blasters, all donated by Iceland.
Richard Walker, Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation Trustee, said:
“The Big Lunch is a brilliant annual event that has been bringing communities together across the UK for more than ten years, and the whole team and I are delighted to have been able to support this fantastic event as part of the Month of Community initiative.”
Last year, thanks to its wonderful supporters, Action for Children was able to reach nearly 370,000 children, young people and families in the UK and help to pay for essentials, protect children from domestic abuse and support those with caring responsibilities.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 4 million children were living in poverty in the UK – the equivalent of nine children in a classroom of 30. Action for Children research has found families are growing ever more desperate, and parents who’ve never needed help before are now struggling. The charity says more families are having to choose between paying their bills or feeding their children.
The Big Lunch is an idea from the Eden Project made possible by The National. To find out more about holding a Big Lunch to fundraise for good causes during the #MonthOfCommunity, go to thebiglunch.com.
For more information and to support Action for Children, please visit: actionforchildren.org.uk.