Bellenden Big Lunch Annual street party
photo of watermelon carving

About the national Big Lunch initiative

The Big Lunch is a very simple idea from the Eden Project. The aim is to get as many people as possible across the whole of the UK to have lunch with their neighbours once a year in a simple act of community, friendship and fun.

Since starting in 2009, thousands of Big Lunches have taken place in all types of community across the UK. This year The Big Lunch was on Sunday 2nd June and millions of people took to their streets, gardens and community spaces for the fifth annual Big Lunch.

A Big Lunch can be anything from a few neighbours getting together in the garden or on the street, to a full blown street party with food, music and decoration that quite literally stops the traffic.

Why we started it

The Eden Project started The Big Lunch in the belief that we, as a society, are better equipped to tackle the challenges that we face when we face them together.

Since the event began in 2009, thousands of Big Lunches have taken place in all kinds of communities and 8.5 million people took part last year making 2012 our biggest year yet!

The thinking behind The Big Lunch

The Big Lunch is based on a belief that the world can be a better place through people working together, with nature, optimism and common sense.

We know that when people get together, we become more positive and start to sort out some serious stuff.

By simply having some fun with our neighbours on one day in the summer, we can build new friendships that we can enjoy for the rest of the year.

The Big Lunch is a chance for neighbours from different generations and backgrounds to hear each other out and share stories, skills and interests. We call this phenomenon 'human warming'.

Make social isolation history

Many of us in the UK lead lonely lives, and The Big Lunch can be a great excuse to get out and meet the people who we share a street, road, estate or block of flats with.

Statistics on social isolation.

The stats don't make easy reading but if we want to turn them around, we need to see them:

  • Two million more single-person households by 2019.
  • More rich, poor and ethnic ghettos than ever before.
  • 7% annual drop in trust between neighbours from 2003-05.
  • Social trust in the UK halved and now among the lowest in Europe.

Why we need to get together

You might think a street party is the last thing you'd do to tackle crime, domestic violence, homelessness or children in poverty. But, it really can be the start of facing up to tough issues, as many who took part in The Big Lunch last year know.

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