The Big Lunch

March 2nd, 2015

In January I was talking in Creative Mornings and at the end of the morning a guy called Gwion came and spoke to me.  He works for the Big Lunch.

So what’s the Big Lunch all about then?  Well, it’s an initiative where people in the community can go out into their street with a dish to share, sit down and have lunch with others they may not know.  And that’s what’s going to happen on the first Sunday of June this year.

If we think about how many neighbours we know in our street, for example I know very few people in my street, there’s people that come and go, lots of people rent their properties, I know the person who works in the corner shop and a couple of people in my block but that’s about it, whereas if you think about my mother’s street, she’s lived there for over twenty years and she pretty much knows the whole street. I think that social capital and really improving our communities starts with connection, starts with our communities talking to each other, so I was so thrilled when Gwion came up to me to tell me all about this Big Lunch.

I met him about three weeks later for a coffee and we discussed the wonderful effect that the Big Lunch has on the community.  He told me some fantastic stories about people bonding at the Big Lunch and becoming friends, and it’s let’s face it, it’s a great excuse to get people together.  What do we usually do on a Sunday – have lunch with people we like and love, so this is just a bigger version of that, with a chance to meet even more lovely people to have lunch with on the coming Sundays!

I think its a fantastic idea so I’m going to organise one.  I’m going to speak to the people on my street and the surrounding area to see if we can do a big lunch in June, and see the impact it has on our community.  If you’re interested in holding a Big Lunch yourself, it’s really easy to do and the wonderful Big Lunch website gives you loads and loads of advice and tips on things like closing your road if you want to close your road and how to promote the lunch.  They’ll even send you a pack which has everything you need to get started in it.

And you know, this can really make a difference for people.  Did you know that 82% of people who previously found it difficult to get involved in the community now feel that they can get more involved in community events?  It can take something really, really small to bridge some gaps, to just get people talking to each other on the streets.  It can have an impact on crime or just letting children play outside, and these small things can make such a difference in getting the community engaging with each other.

So if you’re interested in holding a Big Lunch, you can find more details on the Big Lunch website, and thank you so much Gwion for bringing this into my consciousness, I think it’s such a wonderful, fantastic idea and really echoes what we’re all about in TLO.  I’m looking forward to working with the Big Lunch this year.

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