As we come to the end of 2017, we wanted to say a massive thank you to everyone for helping make it an amazing year! All the ways in which you showed community spirit, big or small, helped – and continues to help – make the world a better place.
This past year brought millions of people together over food with The Big Lunch – which saw some 9.3 million people taking part (that's 14% of the UK's population!) – and through walking, during The Great Big Walk, where over 170 community projects were visited by 15 walkers across 1400 miles.
In addition, we hosted four Community Camps at Eden Project for over 220 people from all sorts of projects ranging from wheelchair dog walking to community gardens and food projects. AND, there was a Royal Big Lunch for the residents of Tregunnel Estate in Newquay, which Camilla and Charles attended. Needless to say, that day brought with it horrendous wind and rain – in true British style – and the lunch was hosted in a community fire station at the last minute. We love how the community banded together to turn a miserable day into a bright one! And we're pleased to say we witnessed several similar acts of community kindness throughout the entire year.
We were also at the Project Dirt Offline Festival, with our very own Eden Project Communities Yurt! It was amazing how we joined with community activists, volunteers and businesses to share stories and build on ideas. All this in a beautiful natural setting and not cooped up in a conference centre!
We can't forget our England-wide event 'Funding: Getting it, using it and doing without it' held in Birmingham for over 100 people from our network, plus organisations such as Project Dirt, FareShare, Big Lottery Fund and the Participatory Budgeting Network. It was interactive and energetic with everyone getting fully engaged, being really hands-on and forging lasting connections.
If you thought that was a busy year, wait till you hear what's in store for 2018. We've got Commonwealth Big Lunches in March and April, followed The Great Big Walk as we walk up an appetite again for The Big Lunch in June. And that's only the first six months. Join with us to make 2018 the year of community and be sure to keep your eye peeled on the website so you don't miss a beat.