Six ways to keep The Big Lunch spirit alive
The Big Lunch is a cracker of an event, with huge numbers of people taking part in community events, many for the first time. But you don’t need to wait for a national celebration to get involved, there are lots of ways to keep the connections going.
1. Send a thank you note
If you held a Big Lunch or took part in one locally, why not send a little follow up note to your neighbours? It’s a nice way to start the conversation about your next get together too. We’ve got a range of graphics and e-cards with uplifting messages which would be perfect for the job!
2. Connect on the Nextdoor network app
Nextdoor is a really helpful way to keep up with local news and share things locally. The ‘For Sale and Free’ section is a great place for selling and getting hold of things you need more cheaply. It helps prevent waste and spark little connections and conversations with locals.
You can also set up groups and run polls – handy for planning your next event and finding dates that work for everyone!
3. Arrange a playing out session
The bunting might be down, but if you’re keen to continue The Big Lunch vibe, organising a Play Street is great next step. In some areas, neighbours are planning to close the road again at the beginning of September and repeat the fun of The Big Lunch, just without the gazebos and tables. There will be bubbles, chalk, toys and games for the children to play with, whilst having a bit of a picnic together too.
Our friends at Playing Out have all the information and advice you need to go from street party to Play Street – and if it goes well, you might be able to make arrangements with your council to make it a regular affair.
4. Spread a little kindness
Our research into the impact of the cost of living crisis has shown that we’re all becoming more aware of the hardship faced by others in our community and that 14% of UK adults are concerned about their own welfare and food security. But it’s heartening to also learn that one in three people want to find ways to connect and support others locally.
One of our team has a friend dropping bags of fruit to them every Wednesday after a visit to the market. Another neighbour regularly cooks up a storm and shares her delicious dishes up and down the street. These edible acts of kindness are not only gratefully received, they make us feel more connected too.
But it needn’t involve food, simply bringing in the neighbours’ bin, offering to take their dog for a walk or watching their child for a bit are lovely ways to spread a little kindness – and without spending a penny.
5. Take part in the Month of Community
The Month of Community is a time to come together to celebrate everything that makes our communities great. A whopping 20 million people took part in June 2022, to cheers volunteers, connect with their neighbours, welcome refugees, support carers, raise awareness of loneliness, or simply to say thank you.
Our partners host a variety of events and activities – there’s something for everyone to get involved with!
Get involved in the Month of Community
6. Arrange a neighbour walk
Nothing lifts spirits more quickly than a good walk and talk. The very act of walking or cycling encourages positivity because we are literally making progress as we move. Just getting out in the evening, or in your lunch break if you’re working from home, always feels like a good thing to do and it’s a nice way to get to know a neighbour or two.
Take a look at our community stories for more ideas – or join us at one of our next events for the opportunity to meet like-minded, community do-ers in your area.
The Big Lunch and the Coronation Big Lunch were absolute crackers… but you don’t need to wait for a national celebration to get involved, there are lots of ways to keep the connections going!
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