TV and radio celebrities and top chefs from all around the UK are getting behind The Big Lunch initiative where they live. Read what they have to say about us.
Scottish TV presenter Carol Smillie helped launch The Big Lunch north of the border. She says, 'Not only is the Big Lunch a great day out for all of the family, it also allows neighbours to get together, form new friendships and make communities stronger. So why not sign up to organise a Big Lunch in your area today and bring together your neighbourhood.'
Actress Lynda Bellingham, our 2011 Big Lunch Ambassador for the UK, says: ‘It's fantastic to see so many people across the UK getting together with their neighbours.’
‘The Big Lunch is such a great initiative, that I hope people take time out to get involved and hold their own.’ TV presenter Alison Hammond helped us get the word out about The Big Lunch in the Midlands.
The BBC’s Derek Brockway, Wales’ favourite weatherman and Big Lunch Ambassador, says: "Naturally we all lead busy lives so it’s not always easy or convenient to stop and chat but it is important to make time which is why I encourage the people of Wales to join in and host a Big Lunch in their community. It’s the perfect opportunity to get everyone in your street or community together to share some food and conversation and show just how friendly and community spirited we are”
One lucky Big Lunch in Liverpool hosted Liverpudlian singer Liz McClarnon as a guest in 2011. She urged people to ‘make it the exception, not the rule, that neighbours don't know who each other are.’
Scottish Big Lunch Ambassador Michelle says: "The Big Lunch is a fantastic idea that is having a positive impact in communities across the UK and I’d encourage more neighbours to get organising Big Lunches where they are. I got the ball rolling in my street and held one for my neighbours - we all had a great day getting to know each other better! That feeling of community is invaluable to me, it means you’re never lonely and you always feel safe.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson gave his support to Big Lunches across the capital since 2011, saying: ‘If you want to bring your local community together sign up to be part of The Big Lunch.’
The fun-loving actress has come on board as Boris Johnson’s Street Party Ambassador for London. She says: ‘I’m so excited to be involved in what promises to be an exciting and historic year for The Big Lunch.’
Professor Tanya Byron, Psychologist and journalist, has supported the campaign since 2014, "The Big Lunch is a wonderful way of drawing together neighbours and encouraging a lasting community spirit. Having lunch and engaging in a meaningful way with neighbours that you usually only nod 'hello' to is a really valuable experience. This is a project that I am very pleased to have been able to support."
Celebrity chef Levi Roots describes The Big Lunch as ‘an admirable project’. He helped us spread the word about The Big Lunch in London since 2011.
Simon Rimmer, resident chef on Channel 4's Sunday Brunch, says 'I’m calling on communities across Liverpool to follow my lead and see how easy it can be to organise a friendly neighbourhood get-together by inviting people to bring what they can to the table - whether it’s entertainment, lovely food or hand-made decorations.'
The grow-your-own enthusiast and chef has provided Big Lunchers with some lovely recipes over the years. He says: ‘The Big Lunch and Landshare both offer great ways for people to come together and enjoy good food.’
Yorkshire born chef James Martin spread the word out about The Big Lunch on radio stations across the UK in 2011. He said he’d been ‘hearing about some great projects that have come out of The Big Lunch over the last few years!’
Angela Griffin, actress and Big Lunch Ambassador, is got her street involved in The Big Jubilee Lunch 2012. 'I can understand how it can be a little daunting making the first step towards knowing your neighbours better, but by requesting a free starter pack, with invitations, posters and celebrity recipe ideas, from the website, getting the ball rolling is made a lot easier.'
Scottish Chef and Big Lunch Ambassador Tony Singh says, 'You don’t need to bring anything particularly fancy to the table; lively chat and interesting people can make even a glass of water good fun. Food you can share, which is simple and tastes good, is an easy win - it doesn’t need to be anything fancier than that. The Big Lunch is all about finding what different people in your community can offer and receive in return and I would encourage everyone across Scotland to get involved.'
'Everyone knows that Geordies are a friendly bunch, but how many people pop overfor a coffee at their neighbours' homes these days? The Big Lunch is a brilliant way of getting to know your community better, so I'd encourage as many people as possible to join in the fun!' sasy Geordie X Factor contestant Joe McElderry.
Scottish Chef John Quigley thinks, 'Holding a Big Lunch is a great way to meet your neighbours and learn more about them, as well as the area you live in. It's a fun day and leads to friendships and neighbours helping each other more - even if it's just being able to ask for a cup of sugar.'