Bryan Pope, from Tyrwhitt Road in Lewisham, has been holding Big Lunches since its very inception in 2009. Despite contending with personal health issues — which make getting out and about often tricky — Bryan has worked tirelessly over the last eight years to get his neighbours to have lunch and some fun together for an annual celebration.
Every June, young children enjoy playing in a bouncy castle, or having their faces painted, while adults share street food with new and old friends from the local area. There is always plenty of food donated by the local residents and the event is drawing more and more people in from the local area. In fact, last year, Bryan was happy to welcome 350 people to their street!
But the magic of the day isn’t just the buzz that’s created on the street; it’s also the impact it’s having on the area of Lewisham and its residents. Bryan notes that the crime rate has fallen drastically since his Big Lunch events, and continues to drop as more and more people connect with one another. Residents comment on a stronger feeling of community.
'It was wonderful seeing so many residents, volunteers and staff from our supporters Pinnacle PSG on the day,' Bryan said. 'The people that came along were a mix of both old and new residents, which was exactly what we wanted and everyone that came enjoyed themselves. I think this year’s event was the best yet, and I hope that events like this will make the neighbourhood safer, more vibrant and more connected!'