The Big Lunch
The Big Lunch

The Big Lunch is a simple idea from The Eden Project, made possible by the National Lottery Community Fund. It’s about getting together with neighbours and others in your community to share fun, food and friendship on the first weekend of June and I would like to encourage you to join in this year and plan a Big Lunch in your street, building, park, church, local school, beach, community centre – or anywhere else you like.
Martin Cawley, Director for Scotland at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “When people get together amazing things can happen and communities are able to thrive. The Big Lunch is about fun, food and friendship, but what we know is that the connections made are the building blocks for friendlier, safer and stronger communities. This is why we are using National Lottery funding to support this initiative and we hope that more people than ever will be involved in a Big Lunch this year.”
A Big Lunch doesn’t have to mean organising a huge street party. It can be as big or as small as you want it to be; as long as it’s bringing people from your neighbourhood and community together helping them to get to know each other. A Big Lunch is big because it’s happening all over the country and because it can lead to big changes for the better in the place where you live.
The Big Lunch began in 2009, and now, ten years on, tens of thousands of people take part in Scotland every year, and it has made a real difference to the communities where it took place. People have made new and lasting friendships and have gone on to do all sorts of things; from attending cultural events to starting up community projects of all shapes and sizes with people they met through a Big Lunch. People taking part also say they feel happier, safer and less lonely as a result.
Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton Constituency said: “The Big Lunch has allowed communities to come together, get to know each other and make differences locally. This year marks ten years of the Big Lunch and provides a great opportunity for new communities to get involved. I would encourage everyone locally to plan their own Big Lunch or get involved however they can.”
The Big Lunch has commissioned a major new research report, which has identified a widening gap in the relationship between people and their neighbours that is damaging our mental and physical health and reducing the ability of communities to cope when crisis hits.
The report revealed that we’re living in times when over half the people in Scotland don’t regularly talk to or spend time with their neighbours, and 1 in 5 of us have never even said hello to the people living around us. More positively however, the survey also revealed that there is a desire for change with three quarters believing it would be better for our communities if we were closer to our neighbours.
Sandra Brown, Scotland Manager for Eden Project Communities, said: “Through our work up and down the country, we have seen that getting together with other folk around you for a Big Lunch is often the first step in making real lasting, positive change in your community. We know that when ordinary people come together, extraordinary things happen, so please consider joining in this year. You can find out how to do this, read all about The Big Lunch and order a free information pack on the Eden Project Communities website:
Research shows the difference a simple act like holding a Big Lunch can make in a community, which is why having Big Lunches in every community across Scotland, bringing people and neighbourhoods together again would be so transforming.

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