Emma’s Big Lunch has the recipe for success

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A Woodilee Village resident’s bid to foster community spirit has been a stunning success, bringing together scores of neighbours for a sunshine-filled family fun day.

More than 100 local residents turned out to enjoy a get-together party, with entertainment including a bouncy castle, barbecue, music, face-painting – and plenty of convivial chat .

The idea was the brainwave of local woman Emma McClintock, who applied to the Big Lunch scheme run by the Scottish Government and the Big Lottery.

Emma, who works for a Scottish Government department, heard about the project from work colleagues and put in an application.

She received a grant of £150 to help with basic costs, and soon found she was organising a fully-fledged community event, and her initiative also attracted support from local supermarkets and businesses.

Woodilee Village – around 900 new homes on the site of the frormer Woodilee hospital – is said to be the first new community of its type in the Greater Glasgow area for 20 years.

Emma said: “Quite a few of the homes here have only recently been occupied and it has taken a bit of time for people to get to know each other – but lots of new friendships were made with this first event, and it was great to see the children playing happily together.

“There were also some who, like me, are on their own and like to feel part of a community, and who like to have the chance to get to know people living nearby a little better.

“The weather was perfect, and I’m delighted by how much everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

“Now we’re planning a follow-up event for Christmas.”

She added: “I’d like to particularly thank local businesses for their support – S Collins and Sons, Billington’s of Lenzie, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Tesco Robroyston, and Persimmon Homes.”