Our Northern Ireland Director, Joanne McDowell, visited Ballymena yesterday to help encourage local people to hold a Big Lunch.

Joanne McDowell, Big Lottery Fund NI Director (pictured far right) at the Big Lunch information roadshow in Ballymena


Joanne joined staff from the Big Lunch and Volunteer Now at an informative lunchtime information event in Ballymena’s Braid Centre to let community organisations and people from the area know what the Big Lunch is and encourage them to hold one in their community.

Supported by the Big Lottery Fund, the Big Lunch aims to get as many people as possible in Northern Ireland and across the UK to have lunch with their neighbours in a simple act of community, friendship and fun.

During the information session, which was the last of seven roadshows across Northern Ireland,  organisations planning or considering having Big Lunches got the chance to share their ideas and experiences , ask questions and find out how to plan their own event.

And staff from Volunteer Now also offered their support for the Big Lunch and encouraged people to hold a Big Lunch as part of Volunteers Week from 1-7 June.

Speaking at the event, Joanne said: “The Big Lunch is firmly establishing itself in Northern Ireland as a great way for communities and neighbourhoods to come together in the simple act of sharing a meal. 

“The Big Lottery Fund is encouraging charities, volunteer organisations and community groups across Northern Ireland to run Big Lunches in their communities that will bring local people together.

“In just 12 weeks last year, 375 communities, neighbours and organisations decided held Big Lunches in Northern Ireland and this year we expect the initiative to be even more successful, with many more groups and communities getting involved.”

If you are thinking of having a Big Lunch in your community please get in touch with the Big Lunch NI representative  Grainne Mc Closkey at or on 07703 189 048.

Email her quickly as you could get some valuable Q network radio coverage for your event.  

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.