Otley: Big Lunch puts village in running for award

Otley village Big Lunch celebrations 2012.

Otley village Big Lunch celebrations 2012. - Credit: Archant

A SUFFOLK village has been short-listed for a prestigious award in recognition of its positive transformation since a Big Lunch event last year.

Penny Sunaway and Rev Jane Hall nominated their village of Otley for The Big Lunch Community Awards and are delighted that it has been chosen as one of 35 short-listed communities out of hundreds of entries.

Otley held its first Big Lunch last year and following their event the community was inspired to pull together, culminating in the village being awarded Suffolk Costal Village of the year in 2012.

The newly created rounders team won the Inter Village Rounders Tournament 2012 and Otley has become involved in the Fit Villages project with members of the community volunteering to mow the community lawn, litter pick and put on exhibitions.

Penny Sunaway, joint organiser of the Otley village Big Lunch, said: “We had a great time organising our Big Lunch event and it’s wonderful that all our hard work has been recognised in this way.”

Five communities will be selected from the shortlist as finalists, with two residents from each winning community invited to attend a private ceremony at Clarence House to receive their award from HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, patron of The Big Lunch, on April 23.

The Lottery-funded Big Lunch is now in its fifth year and last year attracted 8.5million participants.

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This year’s Big Lunch takes place on June 2. Visit www.thebiglunch.com to find out about getting involved.