The Big Lunch is all set for 12th June, encouraging millions of people across the UK to get together with their neighbours

Big Lunch kids

Now in its eighth year, the idea from the Eden Project, made possible by the Big Lottery Fund, is the perfect recipe for having fun with your neighbours, feeding community spirit and helping to build stronger neighbourhoods.

This year there is more reason than ever to get involved and join the fun, as the annual event will take place on Sunday, June 12 2016, the same day as The Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations.

*85% of Big Lunch participants from 2015 said it made them feel better about their neighbourhood; 8 out of 10 people have kept in touch with people they met at Big Lunches in previous years; Participants said the best three parts of their Big Lunch in 2015 were: 1. A great sense of community, 2. Enjoying good food and 3. Meeting new people.

Emily Watts, The Big Lunch Programme Country Manager for Scotland, said: “What The Big Lunch does is give neighbours a reason to come together. Every year more people join in; in 2015 we had more than seven million participants UK wide, and we’re aiming for 10 million this year. We’re hoping that 10% of that number will be in Scotland.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re holding a street party, a barbeque, or a picnic in the park – people are the key ingredient. It’s all about connecting people to create stronger communities.”

“This year the Community Empowerment team at the Scottish Government have given us a fund to offer £150 grants to communities to help more people take part.  You can apply on our website until the 31st March.

“Big Lunches build friendships and create ‘human warming’ – communities where people start to share more, from conversation and ideas, to skills and resources and it makes them stronger.”

Last year communities came together for The Big Lunch in Glasgow; Overtoun Park in Rutherglen, Dennistoun and at Bishopbriggs High; in Edinburgh in Newhaven, Willowbrae and Leith; in Angus in Brechin and Kirriemuir, Linlithgow and Winchburgh and in Dumfries in Stakeford and Annan.

For people interested in getting involved this June, free packs and event resources are now available from www.thebiglunch.com. These include invitations and posters to adapt for communities as well as lots of ideas and info to help get the ball rolling.

 

Notes to editors:

  • Interview with Emily Watts available on request
  • Images from 2015 events available here

About The Big Lunch

  • The Big Lunch is the UK’s annual get-together for neighbours, an idea from the Eden Project made possible by the Big Lottery Fund.
  • The Eden Project started The Big Lunch in 2009 with the belief that we’re better equipped to tackle the challenges we face when we face them together.
  • Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall is Patron of The Big Lunch.
  • Bringing communities together, reducing loneliness and isolation and helping to make a difference locally is at the heart of the Big Lottery Fund’s mission.
  • The Big Lunch is the perfect recipe for having fun with neighbours, feeding community spirit and helping to build stronger neighbourhoods. 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.
  • Over the past seven years, Big Lunches of all sizes have happened in all kinds of communities – in streets, back gardens, parks and local community venues. Thousands of events have taken place each year, with a whopping 7.29 million people taking part in 2015.
  • It is never too late to take part in The Big Lunch. Anyone can request a free planning pack, which contains invitations, posters, seeds and stickers, at thebiglunch.com or by calling 0845 850 8181 to speak to one of the team.
  • The Big Lunch can be found @thebiglunch on Facebook and @thebiglunch and #thebiglunch on Twitter.
  • *Post-event research by Havas in 2015 highlights the benefits of The Big Lunch, including: 96% of people who took part said they would recommend The Big Lunch to their friends; 85% of Big Lunch participants said it made them feel better about their neighbourhood; 8 out of 10 people have kept in touch with people they met at Big Lunches in previous years; Participants said the best three parts of their Big Lunch in 2015 were: 1. A great sense of community, 2. Enjoying good food and 3. Meeting new people.