What's on the menu at The Big Lunch?
The Big Lunch is the UK’s annual get-together for neighbours, an idea from the Eden Project Communities made possible by National Lottery players.
Anyone can take part. It started in 2009 from a simple premise – great things happen when you bring people together.
Supported through National Lottery funding, The Big Lunch is an opportunity for people to build friendships and connections, which in turn creates stronger, happier communities. Last year 9.3 million people took part in over 96,000 events across the UK sharing food and friendship.
People are the key ingredient, with those taking part creating friendlier communities in which they start to share more, from conversation and ideas to skills and resources. Better connections build happier and healthier communities where people feel an increased sense of pride and belonging.
A Big Lunch can be big or small – it’s everyone joining in across the UK together that makes The Big Lunch BIG! What matters is that when we share food, make friends and have fun, great things can happen. We introduce you to three communities that have benefited from the project and helped build stronger, friendlier neighbourhoods.
Dearbhla Reynolds – Pacemaker, Belfast
“It was just pure magic. Our Big Lunch spilled into dinner, we stayed there all day. It totally helped us come closer together. There is a very noticeable sense of community, people would call in with each other, when they pass they’ll stop and chat. There’s a lovely sense that we all know where everybody is, you wouldn’t be shy to call if you need anything. People say it’s just so nice to hang out with their neighbours, and The Big Lunch is an excuse to do it.”
Debi Teague – Ketley, Shropshire
“I hold a Big Lunch at the retirement living scheme I work at every year and I’ve had one in my street too. We decided to hold a Big Lunch and came together to make plans, make decorations, and most importantly, make cakes. There’s lots of hustle and bustle around this event with the elderly as excited as the kids, they are looking forward to showing off their homes and bringing their grandchildren and extended family together again. They have their cameras ready and big smiles on their faces, a spring in their step and lots of plans still to make... this will be the start of something beautiful.”
Lisa Linpower – Lockner Estate, Hackney
“Life for all of us is changing. Neighbours who used to say, “it’s not what it used to be round here,” are now saying, “it’s like the old days, when we all knew each other!” Newer neighbours, who have just moved in, are starting to get comfortable and get stuck into the process of building community, not being afraid to bring their diverse cultures and experiences to the table.”
21st May 2018