19 July 2019

Sarah-Jane Rawlings, co-director of Fun Palaces sheds light on what Fun Palaces is and how you can get involved after your Big Lunch. 

On 18 March 2013, Stella Duffy and I met in a café and started Fun Palaces. The seed of the idea came from Joan Littlewood, a maverick 1960s theatre director and Cedric Price, an equally maverick architect, and has now grown to a group of thousands of people of all ages, races and backgrounds who want to get to know their neighbours better; thousands of people who believe that there is genius in everyone (if we just make an effort to look for it); thousands of people who care about where they live and the people who live around them.

If you held or attended a Big Lunch, you know those people!

Sharing food is an important part of Fun Palaces, but so is sharing everything; from stories to stamp collecting, from crochet to henna, from drumming to bhangra, to cups of tea and conversation. We encourage people to share their passions, skills, interests, hobbies and Fun Palaces – you don’t have to be the expert, you just have to care.

So if you are missing the neighbourly phone calls with updates on the weather, if watching telly in the evening is wearing a bit thin, you might want to think about making a Fun Palace. This is where to start.

  • Put 5 and 6 October 2019 in your diary, Fun Palaces weekend is the first weekend of October every year
  • Gather everyone who made your Big Lunch and ask them to bring a friend, the person they walk the dog with, the pastor at the local church
  • Show them our new short film; people who have made Fun Palaces talking about why it matters to them, why it makes a difference
  • Together think of what you are passionate about, the skills you have. Don’t forget local groups who might love the chance to join in
  • If you need a space, think of somewhere local that might work. Fun Palaces happen in swimming pools, parks, community halls, libraries, theatres and schools. They come in every shape and every size
  • Check out our website for lots of useful things from ideas for activities to information on insurance
  • Most importantly remember that Fun Palaces are FREE and everyone is welcomed to get involved

Fun Palaces is the perfect way to grow your Big Lunch spirit, the perfect way to shine a light on the people and places that you care about.  If you would like to join us, you can – it is as simple as talking to your neighbour.

Fun Palaces helps to build community spirit, enables people to learn more about their neighbours and neighbourhood and can spark new social action and activities in the area’ – Fun Palaces Maker.