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‘Festival of volunteering’ announced to mark King Charles’ coronation

23 Jan 2023 News

King Charles III

Buckingham Palace

Charities have been urged to take part in a national volunteering initiative announced as part of a weekend of celebrations to mark King Charles’ coronation.

The Big Help Out will take place on 8 May, a bank holiday Monday two days after the coronation, with 30 national charities already set to take part including the Scouts, NSPCC and the Trussell Trust.

Partaking charities will plan activities for the day, with further details and ways to take part announced shortly.

Organisers the Together Coalition encouraged “thousands more” local and national charities to sign up to make the event “the start of the biggest volunteering effort in our country’s history”.

Meanwhile, the Coronation Big Lunch will take place on 7 May and is being organised by educational charity the Eden Project.

‘Biggest volunteering effort in UK history’

Charities are able to sign up on the Big Help Out website and the Together Coalition said it would announce further details on 20 March. 

Jon Knight, chief executive of the Together Coalition, said: “The Big Help Out is going to be a festival of volunteering. A day when people up and down the country will roll up their sleeves and do their bit.

“In the run up to the day we’ll also be launching new ways of getting involved in volunteering in your community. The aim is to create a legacy of better-connected communities long beyond the Coronation itself.

“If you’re a voluntary group who wants to be part of it, please reach out now so we can make this the start of the biggest volunteering effort in our country’s history.”

Coronation Big Lunch

The Eden Project began organising annual ‘big lunches’ in 2009, whereby people have lunch with their neighbours through a street party or other event.

Last year, the events raised £22m for local charities, and the Eden Project expects thousands of big lunches and street parties to take place on 7 May and across the weekend. 

Peter Stewart, chief purpose officer at the Eden Project, said: “The Big Lunch has always been about community - last year almost two thirds of people who took part said the Big Lunch had encouraged more people to get involved in voluntary work.

“Sharing friendship, food and fun together gives people more than just a good time - people feel less lonely, make friends and go on to get more involved with their community, all as a result of sharing a sarnie and a chat in their neighbourhood.” 

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