Since 2009, on one day each summer, neighbours nationwide have held street parties, barbecues, community events and simple get-togethers to mark The Big Lunch. Here some highlights from the past five years...
2013 marked the 5th year of The Big Lunch and saw 3.65 million people take part across the UK!
We’ve received some great feedback and Big Lunchers say the best 3 parts of their day were feeling a great sense of community, enjoying good food and meeting new people.
96 per cent of people would recommend The Big Lunch to their friends, 86 per cent said it made them feel better about their neighbourhood and 88 per cent are already thinking about doing one next year!
In the months before Big Lunch day…
You were busy too!
On the day Big Lunchers were launching new allotments in Moyle, getting sheltered housing residents together from across Wales, and breaking out the samba moves in in Chipping Sodbury. Barbara Windsor dropped by a Big Lunch in Hackney and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall celebrated The Big Lunch with Mead Community Primary School in Wiltshire. Meanwhile cake competitions were held in Peckham, the small crofting community got together on the Isle of Rum and Big Lunchers bathed and sang at Bude Sea Pool’s first Big Lunch!
What a year with 8.5 million people taking part in The Big Lunch 2012!
Big Lunches were hosted in every nook and cranny of the UK: from the Isle of Lewis in the Hebrides to the Isle of Wight in Hampshire, from Hillsborough Castle in County Down to Great Yarmouth in Norfolk to Truro in Cornwall.
As a result, 72% say the most successful aspect was the ‘great sense of community’.
In 2011 around two million people joined in The Big Lunch.
Events across the UK ranged from a beach in Scotland to a fire station in Staffordshire.
We heard about all sorts of unusual games being played, like an ‘onion and spoon race’, stilt walking and a traditional tug of war.
Celebrities made guest appearances at several lunches, including Liverpudlian singer Liz McClarnon who attended one Big Lunch as part of a competition prize. Boris Johnson and Barbara Windsor, official Street Party Ambassador for London, visited a Hackney Big Lunch, where they judged a cake competition.
Again, people told us the day really made a difference, with:
Another million people or so turned out for the second Big Lunch, and we heard of events as far afield as the Shetland Islands and Australia!
Many communities used their Big Lunch to bring about positive change:
74% of people who took part told us they did a Big Lunch because they wanted to get to know their neighbours better. Afterwards, 94% said they did feel closer to them.
Watch highlights from The Big Lunch 2010
The first ever Big Lunch saw the best part of a million people take part across the country. Every neighbourhood did theirs differently:
Afterwards, three in five people told us they’d met new friends, and four in five people felt the event had had a positive impact on their community.