On April 12th, with just 50 days to go until the UK’s annual get-together for neighbours, The Big Lunch is urging everyone across the Isle of Lewis to get involved in this year’s event on Sunday, June 1st.
The Big Lunch is a very simple idea from the Eden Project. The aim of the Lottery-funded event, which is now in its sixth year, is to get as many of the 63 million people in the UK as possible to have lunch with their neighbours once a year.
Free packs can be requested online, they include posters, invitations, an inspiration booklet and other materials to help organise your Big Lunch, so there’s no excuse for Lewis residents not to get their community together for a day of friendship, community and fun this June.
Not started planning yet? Don’t worry, there is plenty of time; Big Lunches can be big or small and can take place on a street, garden or community space, anywhere where neighbours can get together.
Getting your own Big Lunch off the ground is simple and inexpensive, people are the key ingredient, with those taking part creating friendlier communities in which they start to share more, from conversation and ideas to skills and resources.
With 50 days to go, there’s still time to contact your local council to apply for road closures with many tips for doing so available online at www.thebiglunch.com. In fact, organising a Big Lunch is easier than you think; all you need to do is follow a few simple steps:
1. Settle on a venue, anywhere from a street to a garden or local community space
2. If you’re planning a street party, don’t forget to apply to close your road (contact your local council for advice)
3. Invite your neighbours, with free invitations available in your Big Lunch pack Decide on who will bring what food, such as a bring-your-own picnic or a barbeque
4.Arrange your decorations and music, bunting templates are also included in the pack.
There were Big Lunches across many of the Scottish Isles in 2013, including on Lewis in Carloway and Laxdale.
Nic Goddard, on the Isle of Rum, organised a Big Lunch in 2013 for their small community and is urging more people to get involved this year. She said: “We’re a close knit community on the Isle of Rum with regular social events, which last year included our first ever Big Lunch and it was a real success. We all brought homemade food to share, made from our home-grown produce, and had a great selection of pies, pastries and soup.
“We had three generations of Big Lunchers on the day; from our young pre-schoolers to a visiting granny and granddad and this was a really lovely aspect of the day - bringing different generation together to share some quality time together.
“It doesn’t have to be a big, flashy or an expensive affair; it’s the simple act of coming together as a community that is the important part.”
Emily Watts, Communications Manager for The Big Lunch in Scotland added: “The Big Lunch is all about getting together and having fun. It doesn’t have to be a big event, even a small get-together in your garden or on your street is a great way to get neighbours talking, sharing conversation, skills, resources – and, of course, the vital ingredient - food!
“It’s not too late to take part in this year’s event on 1 June so why not sign up now for your free pack and get your own event started!”
The Big Lunch is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and partnered by Halifax, ASDA and StreetClub by B&Q. Big Lunches can be big or small and they don’t need to cost much because everyone brings something to the table. People are the key ingredient!