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Publication date:- 2017-02-06

user-generated Headlines and reports on this page = 3 news items.    Page - 3.

Jo Brand to kick start the 'Great Big Walk' on 29 May 2017

THE 'Big Lunch' is doing something different this year in the run up to 'Big Lunch' day. Starting on Monday, 29 May 2017, 10 walkers will set out on 'The Great Big Walk,' an adventure that spans the UK, connecting people and celebrating community all along the way. The walk will be launched by comedian and charity walk fundraiser Jo Brand.

'The Great Big Walk'
is funded by the National lottery and will highlight the rich diversity of communities that make up the backbone of the UK and celebrate all we have in common. The 2 Northern Ireland walkers are Olivia Cosgrove, the founder of Row the Erne, and volunteer with Refugee Rescue, and Noel Johnston, who holds the record for walking the Ulster Way in 28 days, to raise money for charity and needy families.

Olivia Cosgrove explained that she was inspired to walk by her experiences working on The Big Lunch in her area. She sees The Great Big Walk as 'a storytelling pilgrimage' with communities in Northern Ireland. Olivia Cosgrove said:- "I am excited about walking through England and Northern Ireland to meet 'battery chargers', all passionate about what they do, people who … are now having an impact on their communities. Their work is often a quiet, but constant pulse steadily recharging the batteries of others. I want to meet, acknowledge and become inspired by these people. I want to carry their story to the next town, I know it will feed my journey."

Jo Brand said:- "I know these guys are going to have an incredible time on The Great Big Walk and I urge anyone who sees them to beep, honk, wave and clap to show you care. From all the way up in sunny Scotland right down to the coast of Cornwall, let's see which town can give them the friendliest welcome (and the odd biscuit!). And if like me, your dog ate your trainers and your Lycra shorts are in the wash, then you can always plan a Big Lunch, invite your neighbours and just eat cake!"

The teams will travel home, finishing simultaneously, on Sunday, 18 June 2017, in:- Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, Cornwall and London. Every day, the walkers and their supporters will visit different community projects and initiatives and will spend time with the extraordinary people who go the extra mile to bring communities together.  Peter Stewart, Eden Project Executive Director, said:- "The Great Big Walk will shine a light on the ordinary people all over the UK doing extraordinary things for their community. Whether coming together in celebration or in solidarity, in times like these the importance of community unity is greater than ever before. This project will share the positive impact that people coming together can have."

Setting off from Batley, West Yorkshire, where Jo Cox was MP, the 5 teams of walkers will head home in time to join 'The Big Lunch' as the highlight of 'The Great Get Together' celebrations inspired by Jo Cox, and marking the 1st Anniversary of her death, over 16 June to 18 June 2017. Joe Ferns, Big Lottery Fund's UK Knowledge and Portfolio Director said:- "Thanks to money generated by National Lottery players, The Great Big Walk is connecting people and communities across the UK. We are excited to be inviting the walkers to visit some amazing projects, created by local people, and share their experiences with others."

People can get involved in 'The Great Big Walk' by showing support and cheering the walkers along their way. Or go for a stroll with a neighbour, a tour with the town or anything in between and join 'The Big Lunch,' on 18 June 2017, for the biggest community celebration the UK has ever seen. For more information about 'The Great Big Walk' go to:- and also for information on the 'Lottery Fund' visit:- BigLotteryFund.Org.UK.

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