This year, The Big Lunch is encouraging the nation to join in throughout a Month of Community - to reconnect, to support great causes, and to say thank you, from 5 June through to Thank You Day on 4 July!
Covid has had a devastating impact on so many people, and tested us in ways we never expected, but when we face challenges we often notice what we are grateful for - the people and places where we live.
Thank You Day, on 4 July, has been proposed as a national moment to pause, when people right across the UK are being invited to say thank you to each other after a tough year. It's a chance to get together with our neighbours, communities, and families, to mark what has happened, celebrate the spirit that got us through, and say thank you.
The Big Lunch is a 'main course' on the Thank You Day menu, and we're inviting you to share friendship, food and fun to say thank you with your neighbours and community. The Thank You Day campaign is being led in Northampton by community activist, and Big Luncher, Laura Graham.
Laura says: 'I was living alone in Northampton and feeling lonely and disconnected from the community. So, I went to the Eden Project Community Camp and learnt of The Big Lunch initiative. I was inspired and determined to make contact with my neighbours...that was in 2017, and we've held a Big Lunch every year since. It's been one of the most life changing things I've ever done because it's connected me with people I'd never have met, and created a sense of safety and community.
Because we've built these neighbourly connections, every Big Lunch feels like a thank you day, but for this year in particular, I'd like to thank everyone for all the little things that they've done during the year. The smiles and socially distanced waves, notes through the door, I've even had cake left on my doorstep - just the little things that have made a huge difference to everyone.
'We're planning a Big Lunch on Thank You Day, 4 July, which will take place on our street and involve the wider neighbourhood too, and it will hopefully kick start that human connection that we've missed so much over the past year.'
Big Lunch Ambassador Ainsley Harriott is also backing the day, he said 'We couldn't have got through the past year without each other, so as we start to venture back into the world again, let's take a moment to give thanks. That's why I'm encouraging everyone to join in the first ever national Thank You Day on 4 July. Let's have a socially-safe Big Lunch to say Thank You. Go on. Tuck in.'