It was great to see so many faces at The Big Lunch yesterday at Exeter University. You might even recognise the location of our Big Lunch as the court from the last series of Broadchurch!
It was a lovely surprise when a school passed through who were particular fond of our Hindu Chaplain’s mango drink & local man’s honey. A few children were looking back longingly as their teachers ushered them home, I think they would have preferred to stay to finish the goodies off!
The University Wellbeing team ran a popular craft stall, encouraging people to discover their creative side and just relax whilst doing so, a sort of mindfulness I suppose. Wellbeing also lent us their Mind Apple Tree – an interesting concept where you write down things that make you happy on a cardboard apple, then hang on said tree.
The brilliant RCHolistics, a local business, donated their time and gave massage taster sessions in return for a donation – there was such a queue I didn’t get a look in. Lots of people went floating back to their homes and offices once having risen from the portable massage chair!
Grounds did really well with over £50 being attributed to plant sales. There were some wonderful specimens, bedding and houseplants – I had a difficult decision when it came to getting a little gift for my Mom. I noticed lots of other people deliberating too!
I was impressed again with the spread the Multifaith Chaplaincy Team and their helpers put on in with such a limited time to actually prepare food. My morning was spent dashing around plastering posters round campus, clarifying confusion, flyering, making a display about the DEC’s Nepal Earthquake Appeal, setting up tables and making sure all the store holders knew that the venue had been changed that morning.
The kind lady in charge of Grand Challenges got in touch with me that morning and offered to share the Forum Street with us that morning. They were holding a cookery demonstration, so it tied in well with The Big Lunch and we were immensely grateful as the rain hammered down. The original plan was to be outside with gazebos and brave any rain that dared to fall, as we were worried that people might not find the space booked for wet weather contingency. Then we heard that there was a weather warning of strong winds, so we would have had to concede to the storms.
Another good link was the fact that the University Community Wardens also happened to have a stall in the street – given that The Big Lunch is all about bringing people together, they were a great addition.
We did miss out on sunshine by one day, and I think the crowds were a little larger last year but then campus has been extraordinarily quiet this week, even for this time of year. Overall the event went very well, I’m pleased with the amount of smiling faces and money we raised – £130.56 for Nepal. Impressive given that the event was dynamic in the sense that it was still changing up to the very last minute!
I can’t thank everyone enough for their involvement, help & support with The Big Lunch, whether that was food purchasing & prep, helping promote the event, running a stall, simply turning up or any other form of support. Everyone did a brilliant job, and their time & efforts are much appreciated.
Hope the other Big Lunchers enjoy their events this weekend.
Who’s in next year?! I am!