‘The Big Lunch is one of the nicest things I’ve ever been involved with. It warms the cockles of your heart.’
Terry, Westward Ho! Devon

What happens

Since starting in 2009, thousands of Big Lunches have taken place in all types of communities, with millions of people taking to their streets, gardens and community spaces for lunch.

A Big Lunch can be anything from a simple get-together with neighbours in your backyard to a full-blown community event in a street closed to cars for the day. 

‘It doesn’t matter how big the event is, as long as it gets at least one person out of their home to enjoy themselves and meet a neighbour.’
Gale, Wattstown, Wales 

Often a Big Lunch starts with a small group of friends and neighbours with an idea to get people together on one day in the year. With a bit of door knocking, word of mouth and a few flyers, the ‘founding allies’ can get it to snowball into a proper plan involving the whole neighbourhood.

What's the point?

The idea is that by starting simple, all sorts of friendships, ideas and projects can come out of a Big Lunch. It gets people together and talking — and with a few inspired folk, it can lead to people doing more within their community, and tackling the issues that matter to them most. People who’ve done it have told us some great things: 

  • 94% of everyone who joins in thinks that the event will have a positive impact on their community
  • 88% of organisers feel better about their neighbourhood after hosting a Big Lunch
  • 74% of people who host a Big Lunch feel an increased sense of community 

‘We’ve learnt that people want to come together, they just need a little bit of encouragement.’
Jo, Wakefield, Yorkshire

How to get involved in 2017

The Big Lunch

This year The Big Lunch took place around the world on Sunday 18 June, forming part of The Great Get-Together weekend: a partnership with the Jo Cox Foundation aiming to get communities to come together to celebrate connections and commonality.

But of course you can hold a Big Lunch whenever suits you and your community, on a different date. Or if you or your neighbours are fasting during Ramadan, or working irregular shift patterns, the Lunar Lunch will bring people together after dark and you can feast your way into the night!

Visit Eden’s Big Lunch website to get tips on how to start.