Big Lunch Ambassador Jo Brand is encouraging the nation to get eating and meeting… safely. “Research from The Big Lunch this week found that 12 million people are now closer to their neighbours than before the pandemic so what better way to celebrate that friendship than by having a social-safe get-together,” she says.
The Big Lunch, an idea from the Eden Project, supported by The National Lottery and Iceland Foods, attracts millions of people across the UK each year. Last year the event was moved online to adhere to Covid lockdown measures and over 4 million people took part in some digital dining.
This summer The Big Lunch returns from June 5 – July 4 giving people a whole month to have socially-safe get-togethers in their neighbourhood, on the doorstep, over the fence, or online.
Jo continues, “Whilst I’m chomping at the bit to see family and friends again; I certainly won’t be front of the queue dishing out hugs when my local rave club reopens. Everyone has their own social roadmap to what they will feel comfortable doing. We all need to go at our own pace and that’s just fine.
“So, if anyone is feeling anxious about diving back in to the socialising pool, then The Big Lunch is the perfect way to dip a toe back in the metaphorical shallow end. Just fling open the door and wave an egg vol-u-vaunt over the back fence during a natter with the neighbours.”
“We need to remember how to talk to real-life human beings again, so why not start with the human beings next door?”
While it won’t be possible to invite hundreds of people, like Carole did back in 2019, The Big Lunch is a fantastic opportunity to check in with neighbours and see how they are doing now lockdown is easing.
Peter Stewart, Executive Director of the Eden Project (Founders of The Big Lunch) joins Jo in encouraging the nation to have socially-safe get-togethers this summer. He adds, “The past 12 months have been incredibly tough. The idea of things opening up again and us being able to get together, chat and even hug brings with it natural anxieties as well as anticipation and excitement. This year we want to support people and communities as we emerge from the toughest of times and start to reconnect with the world around us. That is why this year The Big Lunch is spreading out across a whole month of community, giving people the chance to ease themselves back into socialising with a focus on neighbours and community.
“It’s so important to find ways we can get used to socialising, connecting, and making new friends again and The Big Lunch can help people do that where they live by bringing people together to celebrate connections and our amazing community spirit.”
Save the date for The Big Lunch which kicks off on June 5. Find out how to join in here.