April 20, 2016
Eight years ago an idea was hatched in a place just about as far away from Scotland as it is possible to get – The Eden Project in Cornwall. The concept was simple – to help people get to know others in their community over a spot of lunch. And so the Big Lunch was born. And each year it has grown in size. This year the organisers expect 10 million to be involved across the UK, with 1 million in Scotland. That’s a lot of lunches and the Big Lunch big day is set for 12th June. Lots of help, including a bit of cash, is on offer.
The Big Lunch is all set for 12th June, encouraging millions of people all over the UK to get
together with their neighbours.
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
*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 30th April.
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
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.