Organise a Big Lunch

Photo by Barry Pells

Each year, since it started in 2009, The Big Lunch brings millions of people together across the UK to celebrate with neighbours and community on the first weekend in June. 

A Big Lunch can be anything from a small gathering in a garden, park or driveway, to a larger party with trestle tables down the middle of your street.  The idea is that by starting simple, all sorts of friendships, ideas and projects can come out of a Big Lunch. It can lead to people doing more within their community and tackling the issues that matter to them most.

This year is extra special as The Big Jubilee Lunch is part of the official celebrations for HM The Queen's Platinum Jubilee weekend - 2-5 June 2022 - and The Big Lunch will once again kick start a whole Month of Community.

Check out this video with our top tips on how to plan your own Big Lunch...

Organising a Big Lunch doesn't need to be overly complicated, or require a lot of resources or money: it can be as big or as small as you like. Hold one on your doorstep, ask people to come out at the same time, and bring your own snack or drink! Here are some tips to help you get started:

Pick a date

Most people hold their Big Lunch on the first weekend in June, which this year includes the extra bank holidays for the Platinum Jubilee celebrations (2-5 June) but if that doesn't work for you and your community, join in anytime throughout the Month of Community!

Or why not hold a Lunar Lunch? If you or your neighbours are fasting during Ramadan, or working irregular shift patterns, the Lunar Lunch will bring people together after dark and you can feast your way into the night! 

Invite the neighbours

Use the invitations and posters in your free postal or digital Pack to invite the neighbours and spread the word. Got a local WhatsApp or Facebook group? Use our digital resources to publicise your event and if you're not a member of Nextdoor yet, take a minute to sign up so you can connect with locals that way too. And of course, try to invite people personally, as you'll no doubt find people who want to help with the organising too!

Hang the bunting

Make bunting using our handy guides and templates - using scraps of old material, plastic bags or the contents of your recycling box. You could ask others to make bits and link them all together. . On the day, give the kids some chalk to decorate the pavement. Take a look at a few of our simple ideas for decorations and if you'd like to customise your event, you can download our logos here. You could have a prize for the 'best dressed' home!

Tickle the Tastebuds

You could ask everyone to bring something to share, odd numbers bring savory, evens sweet, or keep it simple and safe and just ask people to bring their own lunch. If you have the time, take a look at some simple recipes shared by our ambassadors and Big Lunchers. And check out our Top Tips for a Safe Big Lunch too. 

Enjoy the day!
  • Try to make sure that your entertainment, games and activities are suitable and safe for all. Here are some great ideas for street party games for all ages and abilities
  • Set a time for lunch — so that everyone comes out at the right moment
  • Organise some music - you could get everyone to tune into the same radio station and open their windows, or see what local talent there is to organise a little live performance or sing along! Worried about licencing? We've got you covered in our FAQs.
  • Worried about the weather? Here's our guide to battling the elements on Big Lunch day

Take plenty photos and, most importantly, have fun!

Fundraise at your Big Lunch

Lots of people use their Big Lunch to raise awareness or funds for a cause close to their heart, be it for their own community group or a local asset such as a children's play area,  or for a bigger, national charity. In 2021 a whopping £7.4million pounds was raised at Big Lunches across the UK, and the majority of that was for local charities and causes.

Add your Big Lunch to the map!

Share your Big Lunch with us and pop it on the map! Whether it's a private, invite-only do, or a more-the-merrier... we'd love to hear about what you're up to!

Put your Big Lunch on the map

After the party

Once the bunting is down, don’t forget to share your story, using #TheBigLunch hashtag on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. Keep your eyes on your inbox for our annual Big Lunch survey too.

Need more inspiration? Read about the impact of The Big Lunch, our Inspiring Stories or check out this video about last years' Big Lunch!

Get your free Big Lunch or Big Jubilee Lunch Pack and get planning!

 Get your free big lunch pack