17 towns, 17 days: Northampton's Laura Graham embarks on 170-mile trip across England to bring neighbours together

Laura Graham and her walking partner Carole will embark on a trip around England in two weeks time.
Laura Graham and her walking partner Carole will embark on a trip around England in two weeks time.

A Northampton magazine author is embarking on a journey to walk through 17 towns and cities in England and learn about how what their communities together.

Laura Graham is stepping out to learn about how people across the UK help their neighbours in a trip spanning 17 days and over 170 miles on foot.

Laura is also a producer for Northampton's own Happy Hood Magazine.

Laura is also a producer for Northampton's own Happy Hood Magazine.

Between May 17 and June 2, she will walk 10 miles a day and pass through towns and cities while talking to community groups about what they do in their areas to make a positive impact.

Along with her walking partner Carole Wright, from London, she will be stepping through 17 towns and cities, including Oxford, Swindon, Birmingham, Derby, the West Midlands and eventually back around to Northampton.

They pair are taking on the challenge as part of "The Big Lunch" charity event by The Eden Project - which means when she gets home to Spencer Street on June 1, the Mounts, she will find a street party in full swing to bring her neighbourhood together.

Laura - who produces Northampton's-own Happy Hood magazine - said: "Now, more than ever, we need to create connected communities in order to reduce loneliness and social isolation. Helping to do that through The Big Lunch community walk is a real honour.

"I've seen the benefit of bringing our neighbours together. It helps people feel better about where they're living.

"This is the first year I've taken on the walk itself. I'm a bit nervous, because it really is a lot of walking, but I hope I'll be encouraged by all the positivity I'll see on the way."

The Big Lunch weekend across June 1 and 2 is a chance for neighbours to hold street parties and get-togethers and should see group lunches held across Northampton and the UK.

Laura's says her street party on June 1 will be open to everyone in the Mounts.

Meanwhile, the pair will be staying the night at local B&Bs on their travels, and even camp out at a church at one stage.