The Big Lunch is the UK's annual get-together for neighbours, celebrating community and commonality over food, friendship and fun. Since its inception in 2009 participation in The Big Lunch has grown year on year from 750,000 to over 9 million people sitting down with their neighbours to eat lunch together.
The ambition from the start was to create a moment which would eventually be owned by everyone - a 'Thanksgiving Day for neighbours'. Behind the cupcakes and the bunting there is a movement that is building social capital on a mass scale.
Independent research carried out annually shows that:
- 88% of Big Lunch organisers held a Big Lunch to encourage a sense of community
- 47% of Big Lunch organisers report feeling less isolated as a result of their event
- 91% felt their Big Lunch brought different generations together
Of those people who attended Big Lunches:
- 89% felt closer to their neighbours following The Big Lunch, that's 8.3 million people
- 65% feel it reinforced relationships with people in their community
- 90% met new people
- 77% created new relationships they wish to continue
- 74% feel a stronger sense of community
- 54% felt that their Big Lunch brought different ethnic communities together
People who organise a Big Lunch report feeling more inspired (77%), able (82%) and confident (82%) about getting involved in community events as a result, and 65% go on to take part in other community activities with people they have met at The Big Lunch.
The Big Lunch reaches into every type of community, with those living in more deprived communities making up around 22% of our audience compared to a population of 20% living in these areas.
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 societal issues that may affect a street or neighbourhood. Interested? Find out more and see how you can get involved.