St Petrocs participate in a photo series project, with the Eden Project and National Lottery.

St Petrocs has teamed up with The Eden Project to take part in The Big Lunch, a community initiative made possible by the National Lottery.

The initiative will also feature a new portrait series called ‘Ticket To Your Happy Place’, captured by Tom Oldham, in which St Petrocs ambassador, Serena, is the focus.

The Big Lunch is an idea from the Eden Project made possible by The National Lottery, when over six million people celebrate their local connections.

Serena’s photo is part of a new portrait series called ‘Ticket To Your Happy Place’, captured by Tom Oldham and commissioned by The National Lottery, who make The Big Lunch and many other community initiatives possible.

Serena, in the Eden Project Rainforest Biome

St Petrocs homeless charity, located in Truro, has been able to offer people exposed to homelessness a safe place to stay for 35 years, but last year as the pandemic unfolded, support workers there soon realised that harder times lay ahead.

For people faced with insecure housing or homelessness, the pandemic brought increased uncertainty making life even more of a struggle.

Serena said: “Building and strengthening community bonds for people in precarious circumstances is vital. The pandemic stopped all that, so St Petrocs felt it was more important than ever to find new ways to help residents come together in some way.”

”Every year in June, The Big Lunch invites millions of people right across the UK to have fun and make positive local connections where they live, so we thought residents and staff might benefit from taking part in that. Eden’s Big lunch is about connecting people and making new friends, and that support…well that’s just the sort of thing we might need when we face difficulties.”

”Twelve or more of our houses and at least eighty residents got involved sharing friendship, food and having fun with their neighbours – even cooking the same recipes, and it brought us closer together. We obeyed all the rules on Covid 19 social restrictions but across all the houses we shared something. It really did give us a big lift at a really difficult time.”

“I want to show people that housing issues are something which can be beaten when we all work together as a community. When the people who run The Big Lunch heard about me wanting to share my role in speaking about The Big Lunch, and about taking part in it and my love of the Eden Project, they said they wanted to give me the opportunity to take part in Tom’s photo series, for The National Lottery Open Week. It’s exciting and I can’t wait to see the photo.”

The portraits celebrate the return of The National Lottery Open Week & Cinema Weekend, which offers discounts and free entry at venues across the UK from 5 – 13 June, to say thank you for the £30million raised for good causes every week by its players. The Eden Project will offer free entry for guests that pre-book a visit using a valid National Lottery ticket or scratchcard throughout The National Lottery Open Week.

 

Serena, Outside the Eden Project Biomes

Dave Brown from St Petrocs said: “So many people have experienced homelessness because of the pandemic. We find accommodation for them as fast as we can, but it’s a real struggle for people, we support them through every step of their recovery, but The Big Lunch gives a real boost, enabling people meet and chat and be a part of a community.”

Peter Stewart, Executive Director at the Eden Project said: “Serena is a great ambassador for St Petrocs and The Big Lunch. We’re about connecting people with each other, with nature and the places we live in. Belonging is so important.”

“Serena telling us that one of her happy places is the Eden Project was just magic too, so inviting her here to be part of The National Lottery’s Open Week project to welcome people back was a delight.”

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Chair of the National Lottery Forum, said: “National Lottery Open Week is a really exciting moment in the year for us, where an amazing variety of venues and projects across the UK, including The Eden Project, give thanks to National Lottery players for the £30 million they raise each week for Good Causes. “Now, more than ever, people are excited to rediscover their happy place, or find a new one close to home, and we’re proud that so many incredible spaces across the sport, arts, screen, heritage and community sectors have signed up to offer their thanks.”

To find out more about the ‘Ticket to Your Happy Place’ portrait series featuring Serena and The National Lottery Open Week & Cinema Weekend, go to www.NationalLotteryUnlocked.com.

If you want to get people in your community together and maybe make new friends, why not take part in the Big Lunch? You can find out more at thebiglunch.com