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Keep up the spirit of community sparked by the coronation, urges Prue Leith

Data from the Eden Project, which organised the Big Lunch, shows an estimated 13.4 million people in the UK took part in Big Lunch celebrations.

Cameron Henderson
Wednesday 07 June 2023 00:01 BST
The Duke of Edinburgh and Coronation Big Lunch Ambassador Dame Prue Leith with the official coronation quiche at a Coronation Big Lunch hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury (James Manning/PA)
The Duke of Edinburgh and Coronation Big Lunch Ambassador Dame Prue Leith with the official coronation quiche at a Coronation Big Lunch hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury (James Manning/PA) (PA Wire)

Dame Prue Leith has urged Britain to come together in June to “keep up” the “spirit of community and engagement” from the coronation as new research reveals around one fifth of people in the UK took part in celebrations.

The Great British Bake Off judge, 83, said: “Just before the coronation I was lucky enough to help host a brilliant multi-faith Big Lunch at Westminster Abbey.

“And millions of people had Big Lunch celebrations in parks and high streets across the UK. Such a great way to bring people from different backgrounds together.”

Wouldn’t it be good to keep up that spirit of community and engagement? Happily, the Month of Community this June offers a chance to do that

Dame Prue Leith

Data from the Eden Project, which organised the Big Lunch, shows an estimated 13.4 million people in the UK took part in Big Lunch celebrations for the coronation.

Now the organisation is encouraging people to come together again to take part in a Month of Community.

A Big Lunch ambassador, Dame Prue added: “Wouldn’t it be good to keep up that spirit of community and engagement? Happily, the Month of Community this June offers a chance to do that.

“I urge everyone, of any age, to have a Big Lunch – could be a picnic, a tea party, a sit-down affair. Just the perfect recipe for fun, to meet new people and support a good cause. Go for it, do!”

Launched by the Eden Project in 2021, the Month of Community aims to bring together local groups and charities to focus on building better-connected communities.

The event, which incorporates the Big Lunch, coincides with the release of YouGov polling data that emphasises the importance of reinforcing community bonds.

The online survey, completed by 2,057 adults between April 21-24, found 78% of UK adults believe local charities, volunteers and kindly neighbours play a vital role in supporting people through tough times.

Meanwhile, 80% said the country would struggle to cope without work done by volunteers.

It also found that 60% of respondents are concerned about the future prospects of their community, while 54% want to donate money, food or goods in their community but feel less able to support now than they did a year ago, due to increases in the cost of living.

Chief purpose officer at Eden Project Communities, Peter Stewart LVO, said: “We’re thrilled that 13.4 million people took part in history celebrating the coronation of His Majesty The King and our patron Her Majesty The Queen but we can’t stop there.

“These results and our latest YouGov poll are a timely reminder of the critical role our communities play.

“That’s why there’s no better opportunity than the Month of Community to celebrate and show your appreciation to each other and good causes – whether it’s by holding a Big Lunch to say thanks to some volunteers, sprucing up a local green space for Great Big Green Week or reaching out to an elderly neighbour for Loneliness Awareness Week.”

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