A Machynlleth volunteer is set to represent Wales in a charity event which will see millions of people nationwide getting outdoors for charity.

Katie Hastings, who is a volunteer director at community food growing project Mach Maethlon, will journey across England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales and will walk home just in time to bring out the chairs and hang the bunting at a ‘Big Lunch’ event set to be held in the town on June 1-2.

Organised by the Eden Project Communities program, the Big Walk and Big Lunch events aim to improve the happiness and wellbeing of people across the UK by helping to build more resilient and better connected communities

Last year, 9.3 million people took to their streets, gardens and neighbourhoods to join in for a few hours of friendship and fun at over 90,000 events.

Having moved to Wales eight years ago to pursue her passion for growing food, Katie has played a big role in setting up several community food growing projects Machynlleth. She says she’s passionate about the importance of environmental sustainability and the ability of food growing to not only improve health but also to bring people together.

I was really impressed by the sense of community I found in Mid Wales” she says. “I loved attending the weekly market and meeting other food growers in the area. Everyone was so welcoming. I was able to see the positive impact that local farmers and woodland managers were having on the environment and I wanted to get involved. I also saw possibilities to strengthen the local food economy further”.

Katie set up a veg box scheme with five other people, growing and selling ‘chemical free’ vegetables to households in the community. Over time the project developed, and the box scheme grew into Mach Maethlon.

Katie is still one of the volunteer directors of Mach Maethlon and their activities now include cooking workshops, harvest parties and lunch clubs. “We still find food is the perfect way to bring people together in our community from different backgrounds, it’s the perfect leveller,” she added.