Eight members of the public are on a 17-day mission to invite as many people as possible to lunch.

A gardener, care worker, civil servant and bee keeper are part of four teams visiting neighbourhoods and communities across the UK, inviting everyone they meet to join in The Big Lunch on the 1st & 2nd June.  Each team will cover 17 cities in 17 days.

Team England kicked off in London as Carole Wright and fellow walker Laura Graham, were joined by Bake Off favourite Manon Lagreve to hand deliver 900 lunch invites to all of Carole’s neighbours.

“I was homeless… now I’m inviting 900 of my neighbours to lunch”
Carole is excited to get as many people as possible to join in with The Big Lunch.

Carole, 52, spent years living in a womens hostel and sofa surfing with friends. Now living in a flat in South London, she is passionate about the importance of knowing your neighbours. “If you had told me I’d end up here after everything I’ve been through, I would just have laughed at you,” she says. “I’ve done lots of different things in my life, but the heart of them all has been people, and knowing that I’m part of a community. That’s why I’m so proud to be a part of something like The Big Lunch and I want to get all of my neighbours together. It’s been an amazing day and I really hope my experience helps others to realise the importance of being good neighbours and the benefits of getting to know one another.”

Last year over 6 million people took part in the UK’s annual get-together for neighbours. This year will hopefully see even more take part.

Earlier this year a survey by The Big Lunch found almost three quarters (72%) of the UK population don’t feel they know their neighbours well and 1 in 5 don’t even know their neighbours names. This is something that the eight lunch evangelists are keen to address.

“Links with community are vital in unsettling times,” said Jo Brand, Comedian, Presenter and Big Lunch Ambassador. “When the country feels so divided and disconnected, it seems more important than ever to come together and remember the importance of community spirit. It saddens me to think that 1 in 5 of us don’t feel we could call on a neighbour if we needed help. It’s such a shame that so many people don’t even know the people they live closest to. The Big Lunch is the perfect way to address this.  I went to my first one last year – a street party with a real mix of people chatting, eating and just getting to know each other better. Lots of vulnerable members of our society can go weeks without seeing or talking to another person, so anything that encourages a bit of human contact has to be good.”

To join in The Big Lunch from the comfort of an armchair, deckchair, rocking chair or swing…. get your free pack at thebiglunch.com! EVERYONE’S WELCOME

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Nisha Kotecha is the Founder of Good News Shared. Having worked and volunteered for charities in the UK for over 10 years, Nisha is on a mission to highlight how amazing charities are.

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