Laura Graham - Team England

Laura Graham, is a freelance writer, development specialist, and passionate community activist, living in Northampton.

Throughout her career, Laura has been involved in a variety of projects, working with organisations like The Lewis Foundation, Age UK, and Action for Happiness. Laura said, “I’m a huge believer in strong communities and having that connection to others around us. It’s helped with my own self-confidence.”

Laura has been involved with Eden Project Communities since 2017 when she attended Community Camp. Having heard about The Big Lunch at Camp, Laura was inspired to bring together her local community, at a time where she herself felt somewhat isolated. Following a successful first Big Lunch in 2017, lasting connections were made, friendships were formed, food was enjoyed, and laughter was shared. Laura has continued to hold Big Lunches on her street in Northampton ever since and plans to continue to do so. She said “She says: “I’m proud of the street and the way that everyone’s got involved. The whole aim was to bring together the street and that’s what we’ve done!”

Sadly, when Laura was just 26 she lost her mum to breast cancer, an event which fundamentally changed Laura. she said, “I made lots of mistakes but as a result learned more about myself and other people than I ever could have, without that experience. Hence the name of my business - whenever anything bad happened, my mum would tell me “It’s Character Building” and she couldn’t have been more right.”

In August of 2016, Laura created ‘It’s Character Building’, a positivity and wellness blog covering all manner of subjects - ranging from community and gender, to loneliness and isolation.

In February of 2018, Laura co-founded The Happy You Project. Along with her co-founder Paige, Laura realised that there was a need to design and deliver a practical, interactive workshop that provides a holistic approach to wellbeing. Through their workshops, The Happy You Project emphasises the importance of one’s physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing, as a way to live correctly and rebalance the mind and body.

As well as their wellbeing workshops, The Happy You Project also produce The Happy Hood Magazine, celebrating the positive and good news happening in her hometown of Northampton.

This year, Laura is part of a team of community champions across the UK taking part in The Big Lunch community walk. She said, “There’s so much to look forward to, I can’t wait!”

Laura is taking part in The Big Lunch community walk this year to drive home the importance of community, and to be the living proof of the positive effect a connected community can have. She said “Now, more than ever, we need to create connected communities in order to reduce loneliness and social isolation. Helping to do that through The Big Lunch community walk will be an honour”.

Find out more on Laura's Big Lunch journey here

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