David and his neighbours have been taking part in informal get-together for years, but since 2012, the street has embraced The Big Lunch. David noticed that, beside one family, a lot of residents in the street were older, and therefore, more vulnerable to isolation.
The Big Lunch
Each of David’s Big Lunches start in a similar way, with a neighbourhood tidy up. Once everything’s tidy, food and drink are brought out to share, and children begin playing in the street. David said, 'It’s great to see kids out playing, we get them off the tablets and out on their feet.'
His Big Lunches have caused a stir in the local community, with other streets and organisations having taken up the initiative. He said 'This year, I ordered additional packs and shared them around local churches & community groups – I know that The Big Lunch makes a difference, and what can be achieved with so little.'
Through the Big Lunch, he’s found that support networks have been built. He said 'Once they knew they could come out and have a chat at our Lunch, they did. They became less isolated. Over the years, some have passed, and young families have moved in. Although the people have changed, the ethos of support and community remains.'
He continued, 'One older lady couldn’t get to the shop to get milk. It turned out she was poorly and we arranged to get to the hospital – she said that, if not for the Big Lunch, she wouldn’t have approached the neighbours.'
For David, The Big Lunch is more than just sharing food together. He said, 'I want to sew the seed of community. It’s so easy, you don’t need lots of time, you don’t need lots of money – The Big Lunch is a catalyst to connect people.'