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The first BIG Lunch held in Balivanich Hall, Benbecula, recently proved a success with individuals, families, neighbours and communities all coming together through friendship and fun.
Coordinated by NHS Western Isles Health Promotion Department and the Cuimhne Project Tagsa, with funding from the Life Changes Trust and Robertson Trust, the first ever BIG Lunch event attracted more than 50 people, young and old, from villages around the Uists.
They enjoyed a meal of locally sourced produce including venison donated by Storas Uibhist and vegetables from Cothrom and Tagsa, plus teas, coffees and homebaking.
Music and entertainment for the event was provided by the Fiddle Club and young people from Liniclate School who encouraged all to get up and dance.
NHSWI Health Improvement Officer Marion Matheson commented: ‘Feedback received after the lunch was very positive, with people saying that they had really enjoyed it and that it was nice to see different age groups together.
‘People were also asking if it could be held more often and also commented on the lovely food and dancing; with thanks given to all the organisers.’
The BIG Lunch event was originally the brainchild of the Eden Project in 2009, but was further developed following national research which shows that today more people than ever are increasingly feeling isolated from their neighbours and that communities are not as connected as they once were.
Ms Matheson added: ‘It was great to see all the different age groups coming together, having fun, sharing stories and dancing with each other.
‘It’s hoped that this event will now become an annual feature in the Uists,’ she added.