Launched by Eden Project Communities with partners The National Lottery Community Fund, Nextdoor, Neighbourhood Watch, Campaign to End Loneliness and Eco Attractions Group, the Community Action Response has been created because of the unprecedented challenge that Coronavirus presents for people in every neighbourhood in the UK.

Eden Project Communities is a UK wide network that has grown out of community building campaign The Big Lunch, which reaches over six million people in communities every year. The organisations are calling for everyone to take steps that will help communities cope when the worst impacts of the virus hit.

West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper said:
“It is vital that everyone takes the necessary precautions to reduce the risk of spreading Coronavirus and minimising the risk.

“Access to and sharing of accurate information is key, and this information should be obtained from official sources including Public Health England and the NHS and not relying solely on social media where some messages appear to get diluted or are simply inaccurate.

“As agencies work to bring the spread under control and self-isolation is advised in many instances, it is important that we look after those within our communities who may need support.

“Community Action Response has outlined five things we can do to support our family, friends and neighbours, particularly the elderly and vulnerable, which can really make a difference at this difficult time.”

Community Action Response – five things you can do:

  1. Think of others, consider your actions & be kind:  People in every community will face the challenges of Covid-19 in some way – from needing basic provisions to help while they are unwell.
  2. Connect and reach out to your neighbours: as self-isolation increases, we need to find new ways to stay connected and check in on one another for our physical and mental wellbeing. Share phone numbers and stay in touch.
  3. Make the most of local online groups: Keep up to date, share information and be a positive part of your local community conversations.
  4. Support vulnerable or isolated people: different groups in our communities are at increased risk and social isolation and loneliness are key concerns for all ages. There are things you can do like volunteering for local support services or donating to food banks to help.
  5. Share accurate information and advice: Support anyone who may be anxious about Covid-19. Sign post them to the correct advice from Public Health England and encourage people to follow the correct hygiene practices.

Research from The Big Lunch shows nearly a fifth of us in the UK have no-one in our neighbourhoods outside our immediate family we could call on if we needed help or support.

With the rapid spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19) increasingly likely, this is a real risk and combined with the need to self-isolate this gap in our community connections needs to be closed.

The research also reported that more than 36 million people feel distant or very distant from their neighbours, yet three quarters of us believe it would be better for our communities if we were closer to them.

The Big Lunch commissioned independent research published in their Closing the Distance report to explore how connected our people in communities in the UK feel to one another.

Eden Project Communities is mobilising their grassroots community-based network and launching #CommunityResponse on social media to help share the actions. They also intend to further support communities in the coming days, weeks and months as needs become clear.

About Eden Project Communities

Eden Project Communities bring people together to create happier and healthier communities, where people know one another and neighbourhoods thrive. We believe that stronger and more resilient communities will be better placed to face the social, economic, political and environmental challenges ahead.

About Eden Project

The Eden Project, an educational charity, connects us with each other and the living world, exploring how we can work towards a better future. Our visitor destination in Cornwall, UK, is nestled in a huge crater. Here, massive Biomes housing the largest rainforest in captivity, stunning plants, exhibitions and stories serve as a backdrop to our striking contemporary gardens, summer concerts and exciting year-round family events. Registered charity number 1093070 (The Eden Trust).

About The National Lottery Community Fund

The National Lottery Community Fund is the largest community funder in the UK and proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Since June 2004, they have made over 200,000 grants and awarded over £9 billion to projects that have benefited millions of people.

About The Big Lunch

Every year The Big Lunch brings over 6 million people together in their communities to meet, share food, chat and have fun. The Big Lunch connects people and communities across the UK, encouraging them to make positive changes where they live; many people fundraise at their Big Lunch and last year £8.2m was raised by people for the things that matter most to them where they live. Started in 2009, The Big Lunch is idea from the Eden Project made possible by the National Lottery. Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall is Patron of The Big Lunch.

Research from The Big Lunch conducted by Happy City can be found here:

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