The Big Lunch – grab a chair and something to share.

Guest blog by Grainne McCloskey, Northern Ireland Manager for Eden Project Communities

The Big Lunch is a nationwide celebration of community spirit, initiated by the Eden Project and partnered by National Lottery Community Fund, is celebrating its tenth year and in Northern Ireland we want to get as many little gatherings happening as possible, because when we take time to chat it can make all the difference.

Everyone who registers at will enter a fortnightly draw to win support packages to help you get started. The packages include store vouchers, gazebos, seeds to Grow Your Own lunch, bunting, and lots of lovely treats to motivate more neighbours and groups to give it a go in Northern Ireland. The draw will take place fortnightly and you only need to register once to be entered into all the giveaways. Winners will be announced on The Big Lunch Northern Ireland Facebook page weekly from beginning of May.

Founder of Eden Project, Tim Smit, started The Big Lunch as a simple idea. When describing this event he said it was, ‘one day a year when, for a few glorious hours, cars would stop, shyness evaporate, gloom lift, and people come together in the street to meet, greet, share, swap, sing, play and laugh for no reason other than that we all need to. Everything counts from a few neighbours to a load of lovely locals getting together, whether you claim back your lunch break at work, host a BBQ or take to the street or a local shared space your participation and the time to talk is what counts.’

This light hearted initiative is bringing people together, helping build friendlier stronger more sustainable communities where people know one and other. It’s also a great chance to share ideas and celebrate living local and everyone can take part by doing something small at home at work or part of a community of interest. The free Big Lunch pack can be downloaded or posted out. It’s packed full of ideas and tools to get you started, there is even a cuppa of Pukka tea to help fuel the thinking. The pack is waiting for you and funded thanks to National Lottery players and available while stocks last at

Recent research highlighted only 1 in 5 people in Northern Ireland know their neighbours which has a knock on impact on services, sharing tools and resources and on the likelihood of people having someone local to turn to when they need them. We can all change that by taking time to talk so try The Big Lunch for starters.

Find out more and get your FREE pack at

And if Art & writing are right up your street…..
Tell us what community means to you and you could win £100

To find out more email or visit The Big Lunch on Facebook

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