National Lottery’s 25th Birthday: A record-breaking day
I've had a long-standing connection with both The National Lottery Community Fund and Eden Project Communities. Both organisations celebrate and support community-based projects, and I've been fortunate to have been supported (personally and professionally) by both organisations over the past ten years.
As the National Lottery turns 25, they announced their intention to host an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the World's Largest Cream Tea Party, and I was delighted to be invited by Eden Project Communities to be part of the volunteer team supporting the event. Scones, a world record, and some fantastic local projects - what's not to love?
The record attempt was held at The Sage, Gateshead, and our small army of volunteers were joined by locals, community groups, and visitors from all four corners of the UK (and beyond). It was a pleasure to meet some really inspirational people and organisations, and to spend time chatting and encouraging more people to get involved in the Big Lunch 2020. I chatted to locals from just round the corner, students from China and Turkey, and a fabulous community group who'd made the journey all the way from Wales.
It was fascinating to be part of a record attempt too - the rules were pretty stringent and strictly monitored by Guinness adjudicators. We were each required to remain seated for half an hour, and eat a whole scone with both jam and cream (I know, tough life), and drink a cup of tea - with milk - in order to be counted. The previous record was 950 people or so, and it was genuinely exciting when our new record - of 1,050 people at a cream tea party, was officially confirmed.
The event encapsulated all the things I love about community development - great chat, a wonderful atmosphere, big ambitions, and plenty of cake to help things along. It was a wonderful celebration of all things Eden and National Lottery, and a memorable way to mark their 25 years of supporting communities. And it's not every day you get to break a world record!
Thanks to Eden Project Communities Scotland for inviting and supporting me to be part of this event.