Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Big Lunch

The Big what?

It’s a one-day get together with your neighbours on Sunday 18th July 2010. It can be anything from a simple lunch to a full-blown street party with DJs and a hog roast.
This section of the website explains why you should take part, all the good stuff you'll get out of it, what happened last year, and the history.

Why do it?

You’ll enjoy it. Really. Food, music and laughter tastes, sounds and feels better with others.

The trouble is we’re all human and deep down we’re often shy. It’s not easy making small talk. It takes courage to stop being a stranger. But once you do, you’ll realise how many good, talented and interesting people there are in your neighbourhood who all feel the same way you do.

Six more reasons to get stuck in

  1. To stoke up community spirit – we call it Human Warming.
  2. To make the third of us who live alone feel happier, closer and... friendlier.
  3. To show how local people can change a neighbourhood for good, forever.
  4. To conquer our natural shyness, to open our curtains, doors and minds and look out for one another the way we used to.
  5. To share stories, skills and tools, so we all end up richer in every sense.
  6. To discover common ground across age, class, faith, race and the garden fence, and to remind ourselves that charity begins at home, or at most, a couple of doors away.

Do it for charity

If you’re still not convinced and need another good reason to take part, find a cause that’s close to your heart and home – be it a hospice, reformed offender’s scheme or even a tortoise sanctuary – then use The Big Lunch as a fund-raiser or volunteer your time. These local charities survive on sweat, love, graft and a shoestring. They save the country from perpetual crises. They need help. You can make a difference.

How it got going

The Big Lunch began life as a wild seed at The Eden Project. We believe the world can get better by 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 on one day in July, we can build new friendships that we can enjoy for the rest of the year.
The Big Lunch is a chance for different generations and backgrounds to hear each other out and share stories, skills and interests. It's the start of a journey into rebuilding our communities. We call this phenomenon ‘human warming’.
Take a look at the film on the right for an example of the good things that came out of The Big Lunch last year.

Make isolation history

For most of us, doing The Big Lunch is simply about having fun and sending a message to the establishment that we're not all going to hell in a handcart. But there are many of us who lead lonely lives or at least more isolated or anonymous lives than we’d like. The stats don’t make easy reading but if we want to turn them around, we need to hear 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.
So, you might think a street party is the last thing you’d do to tackle crime, domestic violence, homelessness or children in poverty. But as a catalyst facing up to tough issues, it works, as anyone who took part last year knows. When doors open up, people open up and neighbourhoods open up, from sleepy hamlets to hyper estates.

Ideas and inspiration

The Big Lunch can be about much more than just eating together. Why not add a sprinkling of music, games, art and gardening? 

Hundreds of thousands of you got into the spirit of things last year, introducing everything from a grannies’ disco to watermelon sculpting. Explore our ideas and keep visiting the site as we come up with new inspiration to share with you.