Our research

Our work is all about bringing people together, with the aim to create happier and healthier communities, where people know one another and neighbourhoods thrive. We connect people through our events, experiences and networks, encouraging everyday people to make positive change where they live.  

We undertake research to understand what's happening in our communities, to highlight why what we do is so important, and where we should be focusing our efforts.

Take a look at the research reports below to understand more about why connecting neighbours and communities is so vital. 

Growing Connections: A Better Future for our Communities

This 2022 report explores our work and the impact that it has on individuals and communities across the UK.  We’re passionate about community and proud of what we have achieved so far with the help of many friends and partners, yet we know there is more to do. Read the report and please join us so we can make a better future for all our communities, together.

Read the report


The Big Lunch Legacy and Impact Report

In 2021, we commissioned the Institute of Voluntary Action Research (IVAR) to study the legacy and impact of The Big Lunch. The results were enlightening, showing how community connections forged over Big Lunches can tackle even the biggest challenges. Read the report here.

Closing the Distance Between Us

Our Closing the Distance Between Us report has identified a widening gap in the relationship between people and their neighbours that is damaging our mental and physical health and reducing the ability of communities to cope when crisis hits. You can read the full report, here

The Big Impact

Every year, The Big Lunch brings millions of people together in their neighbourhoods and communities to share food, have fun and get to know each other better.  It's a lot of fun, but the impact is deeper than the thousands of cup cakes and miles of bunting. Read more here. 

‘I’m speechless at how it’s developed. I’d lived in my street for 35 years but hardly knew anybody before — now you find people all over the place who you know because of The Big Lunch.’ - David Head

Cost of Living Survey 2022

Our analysis from a YouGov survey this June, commissioned by ourselves at Eden Project Communities, revealed that over 36 million people believe the UK would not be able to function without the generosity of people giving away food in programmes such as food banks, community fridges and food share schemes. Read more about the impact of the Cost of Living crisis on our communities.

We're no Longer a Nation of Nattering Neighbours

Nattering with the neighbours is a thing of the past according to our survey, which reveals half of the population hasn’t chatted over the garden fence or outside their homes in at least a month and nearly 1 in 5 has never spoken to their neighbours at all. See more of the findings, here

'I started to believe that what I do is important, it does matter and I do make a positive difference to my community. I felt really valued and empowered and was filled with enthusiasm to do things even better.'

The Cost of Disconnected Communities 

This research reveals the annual cost to public services of social isolation and disconnected communities. Find out more about how disconnected communities could be costing the UK, here.

'‘I am part of a movement! There are lots of people doing great things, who are inspiring and strong and motivational — I feel reinvigorated!’ - Madeleine Ellis-Peterson 

Find out more about why it matters, and meet some inspiring people who've done amazing things in their communities.