The Big Walk steps up to the challenge of shining a light on communities across Wales

33058688_10160348189620564_5195480178280628224_n.jpgThe Big Walk is back! Four teams of walkers are embarking on four routes across each of our four nations, covering more than 250 miles over 18 days across the UK to shine a light on amazing groups and events that bring people together and working up an appetite for the Big Lunch at the end of their journeys.

The Big Walk is an Eden Communities initiative funded with a grant from the National Lottery Community Fund. The grant is made possible thanks to money raised by National Lottery players. The Big Walk shines a light on the people at the heart of the UK’s communities, who work together to make great things happen every day. This annual event sees walkers visit projects and community groups that are making a real difference to local lives. Along the way they will be encouraging everyone to join The Big Lunch.

The walk launched in Morecambe in England on Wed 16 May on BBC’s The One Show. Comedian Jo Brand and the Gruffalo waved them off, the walkers parted ways heading for their own routes. Jude Boutle from Llandrindod Wells is the Welsh walker, selected to take part due to her overwhelming commitment to her community. Jude will be walking through the border communities in the east of Wales. After a brief stop in Preston, Jude arrived in North Wales on Friday 18 May, crossing the border near Shotton, Flintshire.

On Sunday Jude was greeted with a big, Welsh welcome from volunteers at the Brymbo Heritage Project’s regular work party. The Brymbo Heritage project has huge ambitions to develop community spaces from a former industrial site. Thanks to National Lottery funding the ambitions are becoming a reality.

Over the next couple of weeks Jude will call on some other fantastic National Lottery funded initiatives including Ponthafren in Newtown, Henderson Hall in Talybont on Usk and Bridges Centre in Monmouthshire.

Jude’s big adventure will come to an end in her home town of Llandrindod Wells just in time for a Big Lunch – the UK’s annual get-together for neighbours on Sunday June 3.

Jude told us “What I’m incredibly excited about is visiting all these different communities and the wonderful projects that are going on in each place. And moreover, getting to meet the people who give up their time to make them work. There are unsung heroes across Wales who volunteer and work very hard each day to make their communities better by bringing people together. I feel privileged that I’ve been chosen for this role because it means that I’m going to have the opportunity to meet so many of them.”

How can I join in?

Sign up to take part in the mass participation walk in Cardiff on Sat 26 May. Or how about holding a Big Lunch to get to know your neighbours better. Everyone is invited. Order a free pack and join millions of others across the UK for The Big Lunch on 3 June and don’t forget to follow #TheBigWalk to see lots of inspiring communities in action.

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