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UK News

English cathedrals challenge public to do VE Day lockdown picnics for a good cause

by Tola Mbakwe

More than 20 Church of England cathedrals have encouraged their communities to have a picnic in their household on VE Day. 

A website has been set up for people to share their picnic online and participants have been asked  to tweet their plans, ideas and recipes to create a sense of togetherness during the coronavirus lockdown. 

The Association of English Cathedrals has encouraged people to give what they can to those who are struggling to feed themselves during this pandemic.

The aim is for the 'Big Picnic for Hope' event to raise at least £5,000 for The Trussell Trust, a charity that supports a network of foodbanks in the UK, as well as encourage donations to other local foodbanks too.

Very Revd Adrian Dorber, who chairs the Association of English Cathedrals, said: "While big public plans for celebrating the 75th anniversary of VE day 2020 have been put on hold, it seems appropriate to use this date to remember the experience of World War II and to think about the humanity and care we have seen right now.

"This pandemic has inspired a different national mood; the selflessness and dedication shown by our NHS and all frontline workers; the great neighbourliness, the practical support and care for one another.

"The aim of the Big Picnic for Hope is to have a shared occasion, but the project also provides an opportunity for us to recognise that these are difficult times for many people and that we can all play our part in this by giving what we can."

Samantha Stapley, Chief Operating Officer at The Trussell Trust, said: "As the coronavirus outbreak develops, more people are likely to need a food bank's help. Our teams are working tirelessly to ensure that food banks are able to remain open and have the necessary stocks to respond to this crisis. The support of the cathedral network means we can remain agile to respond to the fast-changing situation and ensure food banks continue to provide the lifeline of emergency food and additional support for people in crisis."

Listen to Premier's interview with Very Rev Adrian Dorber here: 

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