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Organise a Big Lunch

A Big Lunch can be anything from a small gathering in a garden or park to a larger party with trestle tables down the middle of your street.

The idea is that by starting simple, and bringing people together to share friendship, food and fun with a Big Lunch, all sorts of ideas and projects can follow. It can lead to people doing more within their community and together tackling the issues that matter to them most.

Check out this video with our top tips on how to plan your own Big Lunch…

1. Pick a date

You can hold your Big Lunch at any time in the year – the Month of Community throughout June is a great time to bring people together! Over winter, we’ve collected ideas to do in your community to share love, warmth and friendship over the darker months.

If lunchtime doesn’t suit, put up the fairy lights and host a Lunar Lunch in the evening – it’s a great way to include shift workers and night owls.

The Big Lunch at Christmas Easy winter warming ideas


2. Invite the neighbours


Use the invitations and posters in your free pack to invite the neighbours and spread the word. Got a local WhatsApp or Facebook group? Use our digital resources to publicise your event and if you’re not a member of Nextdoor yet, take a minute to sign up so you can connect with locals that way too. Chat to people when you’re out and about too, we bet you’ll find people who’ll want to help with the organising!


3. Add a little extra


Play music, put up decorations or organise a few games to help bring people together.

Make bunting using our handy guides and templates, use chalk to decorate the pavement or download the conversation menu or human bingo game in your free pack to get people talking.


4. Tickle the tastebuds


You could ask everyone to bring something to share, odd numbers bring savoury, evens sweet, or keep it simple and ask people to bring their own lunch. If you have the time, take a look at some easy recipes shared by our ambassadors and Big Lunchers.


5. Enjoy the day!


  • Here are some great ideas for street party games for all ages and abilities. Try to make sure that your entertainment, games and activities are suitable and safe for all.
  • Set a time for lunch — so that everyone comes out at the right moment
  • Organise some music – you could see what local talent there is and organise a local live performance or sing along!
  • Worried about the weather? Here’s our guide to battling the elements on Big Lunch day
  • Need insurance for your Big Lunch? Read our guide on how to get insurance sorted.

Don’t forget to take plenty of photos and, most importantly, have fun!


6. Fundraise at your Big Lunch


Lots of people use their Big Lunch to raise awareness or funds for a cause close to their heart, be it for their own community group or a local asset such as a children’s play area,  or for a bigger, national charity. In 2022 a whopping £22 million pounds was raised at Big Lunch and Big Jubilee Lunch events across the UK, and the majority of that was for local charities and causes.




7. After the party


Once the bunting is down, don’t forget to share your story, using #TheBigLunch on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. Keep your eyes on your inbox for our annual Big Lunch survey too.

See all Big Lunch resources