By David Gledhill, Marketing & Communications Lead


The King’s Coronation might not appeal to you, but there is no escaping from the fact that it will be a once-in-a-generation event – the sort of event that children and grandchildren will probably ask about in years to come.

And there is much more to the Coronation weekend than the event itself on Saturday, May 6th when the service will take place in Westminster Abbey, no doubt watched by hundreds of millions worldwide.

The weekend is also the focus of a massive publicity drive to get more people into volunteering.The Big Help Out is designed to give everybody the chance to try volunteering for themselves and make a difference in their community.

In Torbay, The Big Help Out starts on Sunday 7th of May with an opportunity for organisations from across the Bay to showcase their work and find new volunteers and we need as many charities and voluntary organisations as possible to get involved.

As part of the celebrations taking place on Abbey Meadows in Torquay which includes the Big Lunch and a live screening of the Coronation Concert that will take place at Windsor Castle with iconic locations across the UK lit up using projections, lasers, drone displays and illuminations. Staged and broadcast by the BBC in front of a live audience of several thousand members of the public, the concert will celebrate Their Majesties’ Coronation.

Across the weekend, tens of thousands of Coronation Big Lunches and street parties will be held in the UK and Commonwealth. Big Lunches take place across the UK annually and last year they raised more than £22 million for local charities.

Monday, May 8th is a Bank Holiday when it is hoped that people will come together to support charities in the Big Help Out. In tribute to His Majesty The King’s lifetime of service, the Big Help Out will encourage people to support the causes that matter the most to them with activity already planned by organisations including The Scouts, Royal Voluntary Service, National Trust and RNLI.

It is important that the smaller charities and voluntary organisation here in Torbay also get maximum exposure but first we need to bring them all together to showcase their work the day before on the Sunday, May 7th in a marquee on Abbey Meadows where charities and voluntary groups have the chance to exhibit and advertise their volunteering opportunities.

Some organisations have already come forward including the National Trust, the Unleashed Theatre Company, Paignton Festival and Mencap to name but a few, so you won’t want your group to miss out.

The day will also provide a focus for Big Help Out projects being organised to take place on Monday, May 8th – maybe it’s some taster sessions to help people experience what your organisation does, or something special for the day. It could be anything – a one-off event or the start of something bigger.

Community Volunteering is an important part of the UK’s story, from Air Raid Wardens during the Second World War to more than 12 million people who stepped forward during the pandemic.

In Torbay, thousands of people volunteered during the COVID crisis running errands for their friends, neighbours and relatives, and forming neighbourhood groups that watched out for each other.

There are hundreds of organisations big and small across the Bay that rely on volunteers to keep going and a great many projects would never be completed without them.

The Big Help Out is a way of drawing attention to those opportunities and getting as many people involved as possible – both in the long term and in the short term along with the projects that will take place on the Bank Holiday Monday.

To book your place in the marquee on Sunday, May 7th or to let us know what is happening on Monday, May 8th please email [email protected]. And please tell your networks and help us spread the word. Together we can make a difference.