Big Lunch brings communities together in Kirkcaldy

David Torrance MSP, Debbie Kelly and Cllr Zoe Hisbent at the Big Lunch.
David Torrance MSP, Debbie Kelly and Cllr Zoe Hisbent at the Big Lunch.

Families in Kirkcaldy came out in force last week to take part in the Big Lunch at the Old Bowling Club in Gallatown.

The Big Lunch is a Link Up Gallatown initiative which aims to improve the happiness and wellbeing of people across the Kirkcaldy area by helping to build more resilient and better connected communities.

Shuggy Hughes serving up hotdogs at the Big Lunch.

Shuggy Hughes serving up hotdogs at the Big Lunch.

Link Up Gallatown works with and supports people and groups in the local area to help create a thriving community.

The Big Lunch scheme encourages people from all over the country to take positive actions that strengthen local connections and build stronger communities and to bring people together to build their confidence and to grow and share their talents.

The initiative also supports individuals and communities as they create positive change to tackle local issues that matter to them most.

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Debbie Kelly, community development worker with the YMCA had started the Big Lunch after visiting the Eden Project in Cornwall, she said: “Last year myself and a colleague visited the Eden Project and took part in a community camp, it was a long weekend that included several different workshops.

“These workshops were focused on bringing communities together and what was showcased was the Big Lunch.

“When we came home we decided to hold a Big Lunch ourselves, the Eden Project’s idea is to have the lunch in your own street, you and all your neighbours come together to make and share food.

“This is a good idea if you live in a more affluent area, but it might not be possible if you live in certain parts of Kirkcaldy.

“I thought how can I make this happen, so I asked other organisations to come along and it is a chance for members of the community to meet people from the Cottage, Fife Gingerbread, Sacro or whoever else that has come along.

““We have provided food and all the other organisations that have come along have brought food as well, with the Big Lunch being held at the Old Bowling Club we are providing a safe space for everyone to meet and enjoy lunch with one another.”

Liz Easton, general secretary for the YMCA in Kirkcaldy was also at the Big Lunch, she said: “What is really important and what people need to understand is you can’t just fill someone’s belly, I always say you have got to fill the belly, the head and the heart.

“People initially come in for food, then they start to find confidence with the staff, then a bit of trust develops, they start to open up, and then they start to get support.

“When people start receiving support, they start feeling better about themselves because they are feeling valued, welcomed and appreciated.

“Everyone talks about holiday hunger, but it is head and heart hunger as well, it is important that we realise that.

“It is about nurturing people.”

David Torrance MSP was at the event with Councillor Zoe Hisbent, He said: “It is a pleasure to be here today, I know all the hard work that goes into setting up an event like this.

“Debbie and her team at Link Up have done a fantastic job putting this all together, and you can see the result with all the families that have come out to take part in the Big Lunch.

“It is an excellent event and a massive well done to everyone that has pulled it together.”

Cllr Hisbent added: “The Big Lunch is a great initiative, bringing families and the community together.

“Events like this brings people out and helps build relationships in the community.

“When people come to these events they can engage with all the different groups and with people from all walks of life, it’s great to see everyone having such a good time.”