Pack a Picnic
Lots of Big Lunchers are keeping it super simple this year, packing a picnic and heading to the nearest green space to spread out on blankets. Claire, from Birmingham, is perfectly set up to get together with neighbours safely in the communal areas of their new-build estate. They’re planning a small picnic on 5th June and then a second course for Thank You Day on 4 July. Since their first Big Lunch in 2018, their community has flourished - now holding events throughout the year, setting up a Neighbourhood Watch Group, Facebook page, WhatsApp group and even their own website!
Over in Kirkby, Merseyside, it’s another two course affair, where Rosie and Jane are starting with a picnic to share community ideas and ending by hosting a meal for their elderly residents at the local rugby club.
Doing it digitally
Dunstable Town Council also host an annual Big Lunch for their elderly residents, bringing around 100 people together for food and entertainment, provided for free by the council and attended by local organisations and the Mayor. Last year’s event was cancelled, but this year, they’re playing safe and taking things online. They’ll deliver lunch to around 60 guests who can tune in via Zoom to enjoy some much needed company, conversation and entertainment.
Surrey County Council is also taking a digital approach, with staff being invited to join virtual Big Lunch-breaks, from the comfort of their desks!
Fancy a traditional street party? Why not take a leaf out of Esther’s book. She’s encouraging everyone in her street in Borth, West Wales, to set up their own table and lunch outside their houses, so they can connect from a safe distance. Much like lots of us did for the weekly Clap for Carers last year. Christine is also getting her neighbours together safely in the street in Salford – to celebrate their recent efforts to clean and green up their alleyways. Pimms by the bins anyone?!
In Scalloway, on the Shetland Island in Scotland, the youth and community centre’s annual Big Lunch street party is returning- with bunting up and lots of fun for all the family planned.
If you’re closing a road for your event, it’s possible you’ll need to arrange Public Liability cover. Find out more about insurance including a special deal for Big Lunchers!
Giving back with The Big Lunch
Lots of people use their Big Lunch to fundraise and a whopping £8.2million was raised at events in 2019 - mostly for local charities and causes. Jacqui is using this years’ event to unite her community following the pandemic, in Erskine, West Scotland, whilst raising money for the local veteran’s charity.
Want to give something back with your Big Lunch? This year’s Month of Community gives you plenty of reasons to take part and causes to support – and you can join in whenever suits you from 5 June. There are also lots of fundraising ideas and tips in our free Big Lunch pack.
Feeling proud of your gardening or food growing efforts? You could use your event to share the fruits of your labour! Social enterprise Cardiff Salad Garden is planning a Big Lunch in Bute Park as part of a week of events and workshops celebrating salad and food growing.
In Newcastle, County Down in Northern Ireland, it’s all about food sustainability. Kathy and the volunteers at Unit T, a local community Hub and kitchen, will be holding a Big Lunch to bring people together and encourage ongoing use of the Hub, where they’ve been cooking food supplied by FareShare and delivering it to people that need it most in the community – since the first Lockdown began.
Doing it for the kids
We’re delighted to see that schools across Wales will host their own Big Lunch picnics on their school grounds or in local parks - thanks to support from our friends at Food For Life Get Togethers. The Big Lunch is a great opportunity for schools to celebrate achievements and help grow the school community. Take a look at our ideas and resources for schools to help plan a fun-filled event for kids.
Ready to get planning? There are lots more ideas in our Big Lunch pack and you can also check out this video of a session we ran recently online, sharing ideas for The Big Lunch this year to get you started!
Online, on the doorstep or over the fence. Join in from 5 June and set your own big date to celebrate!
We are looking forward to our Big Lunch this year, it's needed more than ever before. I think everyone can benefit from joining in, whether you plan to do something to catch up with a few neighbours or use the opportunity to reconnect your group, we can all take action to help ease back into community and strengthen community spirit wherever we live. Kathy, Northern Ireland