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.
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.
- 4.5 million new friendships were formed during The Big Lunch in 2018 alone.
- 82% of people who attended a Big Lunch say it has had a positive effect on their community - that's almost 5 million people across the UK!
- Nearly 5 million people who attended a Big Lunch felt it had helped to make people feel less lonely.
- People who attend a Big Lunch report feeling prouder of where they live (78%), closer to their neighbours (77%) and more confident (76%) about getting involved in community activities as a result.
Of Big Lunch organisers:
- Nearly 90% told us that The Big Lunch creates stronger communities throughout the UK.
- 94% felt their Big Lunch brought different generations together and 83% felt their Big Lunch brought people from different ethnic backgrounds together.
A whopping 98% felt more communities should do a Big Lunch event - now there's a recommendation!
Every single Big Lunch is different, so alongside the stats and facts, we asked our Big Lunch organisers to tell us what their Big Lunch meant to them. Here's what they said...
Some people fundraised at their Big Lunches. Together they raised almost £8million, with just under £6 million of that raised specifically for local causes or community projects.
The Big Lunch reaches into every type of community, with those living in more deprived communities making up around 24% of our audience compared to a population of 20% living in these areas.
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.
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. Interested? Find out more and see how you can get involved.