A lunchtime event aimed at reducing social isolation and loneliness amongst Kessingland residents has been hailed as a success by its organisers.
On Tuesday 26 June, Kessingland residents attended the ‘Big Lunch’ at Marram Green, part of a national initiative to build strong connected communities. Organised by the East Suffolk Communities Team, Access Community Trust, BACT and Kessingland Parish Council, the event gave local people the chance to have lunch, meet new friends and help build a strong local community.
In addition to lunch from Sam’s Café, residents enjoyed games and activities provided by Kessingland Library and were able to use the Marram Green gym equipment. Children from the Kessingland Primary School Choir also performed at the event.
Cllr Mary Rudd, Waveney District Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Health and Safety said:
“It was wonderful to see so many people attending this event which provided an opportunity for Kessingland residents to get to know their neighbours and help those people who may sometimes feel isolated or lonely.”
Cllr Jean Difford of Kessingland Parish Council said:
"Part of the Kessingland Neighbourhood Scheme is to identify vulnerable and elderly people who may be lonely and unable to leave their homes.
With the help of Access Community Trust and Waveney District Council we are trying to reach out to those people, and offer a hot meal and a chance to socialise.
This event was a great success with delicious food and the lovely singing from the children of the local primary school. We hope this will just be the start of many."
Antony Parke, Customer & Commercial Projects Manager at Access Community Trust said:
“The Big Lunch seemed a perfect way of targeting those with hidden needs in and around the Kessingland area and to bring together people into what is the heartbeat of the community.
The fact that we were so eagerly supported by both Waveney District Council and Kessingland Parish Council made this fantastic day at the café something which we will look to repeat on a regular basis.
The excellent support from Kessingland Primary Academy was very much the icing on the cake.”
The Big Lunch initiative is organised by The Eden Project and funded by the Big Lottery Fund.
The East Suffolk Communities Team comprises officers from Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District Councils and Suffolk County Council, working together to support local communities.