1 June 2022

The amazing National Lottery Community Fund has supported The Big Lunch since 2011, and here, they explain why The Big Lunch is so, so much more than a lunch...

The Big Lunch is the UK’s largest annual celebration for neighbours and community. Each June, it brings together as many as 9 million people for a moment of cheer and connection. The idea is simple - people connect over sandwiches in front gardens, share cake at traditional street parties, and come together to create new connections, have fun, and celebrate community.

But that’s just the start. The Big Lunch goes beyond parties and bunting, explains Peter Stewart, Board Director of Eden Project, which conceived the idea. “We sell it as a good time, but actually the social outcomes are the reason we’re behind it so much.”

These outcomes include stronger social networks, illustrated by the 18 million new friendships the Big Lunches have helped to forge. They’ve given people a more positive view of their neighbourhoods; four-in-five participants feel a stronger sense of community pride and belonging as a result of taking part. And people follow up on that feeling - the events have raised over £50 million for community causes and two-thirds of former participants go onto improve their neighbourhood.

Here are just some of the statistics and outcomes behind community organising and grassroots activity:

  • In neighbourhoods that regularly hold Big Lunches, 68% say people have come together to improve the neighbourhood as a result.
  • 65% go on to take part in other community activities with people they met at The Big Lunch event.
  • 46% start up new local initiatives and neighbourhood groups.
  • 42% say The Big Lunch benefited the community “a great deal”, followed by 27% saying “a lot” or 18% “a moderate amount.”

This excerpt has been shared from The National Lottery Community Fund's Impact Case Study, to read more, please visit their website where you can find out more about the impact of The Big Lunch:

More than just a Lunch: The Big Lunch


Thank you to The National Lottery Community Fund for your continued support, we couldn't do what we do without you.