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Neath residents turn out for fifth annual Big Lunch

Ethel Street residents have taken part in The Big Lunch for five years
The Big Lunch scheme is designed to bring neighbours closer together
The Neath street recently won a community award for transforming the area through its annual Big Lunches

This year's 'The Big Lunch' - an annual get-together designed to foster friendship between neighbours - has taken place in communities across the UK today.

Residents of Ethel Street in Neath have participated in the scheme since 2009, and were recently given a prestigious community award by the Duchess of Cornwall, who is Patron of The Big Lunch.

Local families were praised for transforming the area - one of the most deprived in Wales - after they started meeting once a year and getting to know each other over a meal.

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Neath residents join together for annual Big Lunch

Neath representatives Emma Knight and Joel Al-Hattab receive the award from the Duchess of Cornwall back in April Credit: Golley Slater

This year's Big Lunch project - an annual get-together designed to foster friendship between neighbours - is taking place across the country today.

Residents of Ethel Street in Neath have taken part in The Big Lunch since 2009, and were recently given a prestigious community award by the Duchess of Cornwall, who is Patron of the Big Lunch.

Local families were praised for transforming the area - one of the most deprived in Wales - after they started meeting once a year and getting to know each other over a meal.

Organiser Emma Knight, who accepted the award in April on behalf of the community, said at the time: "Since we all got together in 2009 we've really transformed the atmosphere of Ethel Street.

"Most people now know their neighbours really well and would think nothing of popping next door for some spare milk or sugar, and elderly residents don't have to feel afraid of the young people because they know them all!"

Annual lunch brings community together

A community in Neath is celebrating after beating others from around the UK to win a special award.

Neighbours from Ethel Street received their Big Lunch Community Award from the Duchess of Cornwall at a reception at Clarence House.

Local families were praised for transforming the streets of one of the most deprived places in Wales after they started meeting once a year for a spot of food.

Neath street's pride at royal community award

Residents of Ethel Street in Neath say it's a 'really wonderful feeling' to have their community spirit recognised by the Duchess of Cornwall.

They have received an award for their ongoing participation in the annual Big Lunch project, which is designed to bring the community closer together.

The area we live in has some of the worst deprivation rates in Wales. Unemployment is high and there are lots of health problems. There wasn't much community spirit or pride at all - but that's all changed now.

Since we all got together in 2009 we've really transformed the atmosphere of Ethel Street. Most people now know their neighbours really well and would think nothing of popping next door for some spare milk or sugar, and elderly residents don't have to feel afraid of the young people because they know them all!

– Emma Knight, resident and Big Lunch organiser

Big Lunch Community Awards held at Clarence House

The Big Lunch Community Awards have taken place at Clarence House, with Ethel Street in Neath recognised for its community spirit.

The Duchess of Cornwall, who is patron of the Big Lunch project, and actress Barbara Windsor MBE, Big Lunch Ambassador, were both present at the awards.

The Duchess of Cornwall pictured with Big Lunch Ambassador Barbara Windsor MBE and community members Credit: Golley Slater
The Duchess of Cornwall, patron of the Big Lunch project, chats to Neath representatives Emma Knight and Joel Al-Hattab Credit: Golley Slater
The Big Lunch Community Awards recognise community spirit and the hard work of residents Credit: Golley Slater

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Duchess of Cornwall honours Neath community

Neath representatives Emma Knight and Joel Al-Hattab receive the award from the Duchess of Cornwall Credit: Golley Slater

Residents living in one of Wales' most deprived areas have received a special award from the Duchess of Cornwall in recognition of their community spirit.

For five years, Ethel Street in Neath has taken part in the 'Big Lunch' project - an annual event designed to bring communities closer together - and neighbours say the difference has been 'incredible'.

Ethel Street beat 35 shortlisted communities from hundreds of applicants across the UK.

Two representatives attended a ceremony at Clarence House on behalf of the whole street, where they accepted the award from the Duchess of Cornwall - patron of the Big Lunch project.

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