The Big Lunch brings millions of people together across the UK to share food and fun on the first weekend in June every year.
From 750,000 people who joined the first Big Lunch back in 2009, now over 6 million people a year, of all faiths, ages, ethnicities and backgrounds, come together with their neighbours to share food, have fun and get to know each other better.
'Over the years we’ve had Big Lunches, it’s had a massive impact on our community. We know each other now, and I’d say a good 70/80% of my social life now is centred around my neighbours.' Big Luncher, Lisa
Independent research carried out every year, helps us understand the impact The Big Lunch is having across the UK. Here's some of what we found out this year.
- 4 million new friendships were formed during The Big Lunch in 2019 alone.
- 92% of organisers told us that The Big Lunch creates stronger communities, and 4 million people feel they belong more in their community as a result of The Big Lunch.
- 3.8 million people who attended a Big Lunch said it had helped them feel less lonely and 78% believe their neighbourhood is a friendlier place as a result.
- People who attend a Big Lunch report feeling prouder of where they live (73%), closer to their neighbours (71%) and more confident about getting involved in community activities as a result (72%).
- Some people fundraised at their Big Lunches. Together they raised £8.2million, with 66% of fundraisers choosing a local charity or cause to give the money to.
A whopping 98% felt more communities should hold a Big Lunch where they live - now there's a recommendation!
The ambition from the start was to create a moment in the national calendar - a 'Thanksgiving Day for neighbours'. Behind the cupcakes and the bunting there is a growing movement of ordinary people choosing to make connections and positive changes in their communities.
Every single Big Lunch is different, and it really does reach into every type of community. The Big Lunch provides a simple platform on which other things can grow, from informal friendships, fun and conversations on the day, to tackling broader issues that may affect a street or neighbourhood.
We're so proud of the differences The Big Lunch has made to communities right across the UK, we hope you are too.
Join us next year and bring a little joy to your neighbourhood, 6-7 June 2020. In the mean time, take a look at more incredible findings from our Big Lunch survey 2019 here.