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Five Days of Giveaways

May 27, 2016
Author: Elyse Clarke

To get us all into the spirit of Big Lunch day, which is now just over two weeks away, from Monday 30th May to Friday 3rd June we’re doing five days of Big Lunch giveaways! Make sure you are following us on Facebook and Twitter so you can keep an eye out for what’s up for grabs and how to enter.

apron and teatowel

mug

Badges

 

Terms and Conditions:

  1. Promotion is open to residents in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales only.
  2. Each giveaway will close at midnight on the day of posting. No entries will be accepted after this time.
  3. The competition will run daily from Monday 30th May to Friday 3rd June.
  4. To be eligible, entrants must email info@thebiglunch.com with the necessary information outlined in the competition post.
  5. All entries must contain a full postal address.
  6. No charge is made to enter this competition and no purchase is required.
  7. One entry per person per competition.
  8. Employees of the Eden Project, their immediate families, associated companies, distributors, third parties or anyone professionally connected with the promotion are excluded from participation.
  9. There is no cash or other alternative Prize available. Prize is not transferable. Prizes will be dispatched within 10 days of announcing winner.
  10. The Promoter will use the entrant’s personal information in order to administer and run this competition. The Promoter may provide the personal information of the entrant to third parties in connection with these uses.
  11. No bulk, third party or organised group entries will be accepted. All entries must be made directly by the person entering the promotion. Entries made indirectly or via the use of automated devices or processes are not allowed and all such entries will be disqualified.
  12. Entries not complying with these terms and conditions or which provide insufficient information on the online entry form will not be accepted by the Promoter.
  13. By entering, entrants agree that in the event of winning, they agree to take part in reasonable publicity as determined by the promoter for no further consideration.
  14. By entering all participants will be deemed to have accepted and be bound by these Terms and Conditions.
  15. The Promoter reserves the right to hold, void, cancel, suspend or amend the competition or terms and conditions where it becomes necessary to do so.
  16. The Promoter accepts no responsibility for entries that are not received for any reason.
  17. The Promoter’s decision on any aspect of the competition is final and binding and no correspondence will be entered into.
  18. The Promoter is the Eden Project.

 

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Feast of Stories

May 27, 2016
Author: Grainne McCloskey

International storyteller Liz Weir is offering you a story for a story!

Liz Weir is a storyteller and writer from Northern Ireland who believes in the principals of The Big Lunch and wants to motivate us to tell our story at and after our Big Lunches.

So everyone who gets in touch to share your  story before, during and after The Big lunch will be entered into a draw to win a  story telling session for a group or your choice – dates to be arranged with Liz.. Whether you attend or organise a Big Lunch doesn’t matter we want to hear from you.

vintage dressed ladies with vintage cups

What do we need from you?

When you are planning your Big Lunch photography and peoples opinion are high on your list of priorities but on the day you are pulled in 100 different directions. So be prepared!

  • Appoint a few people to be your roving reporters. Ask who has a love of Instagram , Facebook and Twitter and give those folk the task of recording the day and uploading film clips and photos tagging @thebiglunch or #TheBigLunch.
  • Invite people to share their opinion on the day – ask them to leave comments – you could have a book open on the table or invite them to write on the tablecloth. or put their opinion of the event on a triangle of card board or old fabric and peg it to a clothes line. This information will inform you of who thought what afterwards.

Send us your memories, thoughts and ideas afterwards  to gmccloskey@edenproject.com

Don’t forget to tell us about the project, group school or gathering you would to employ Liz’ talent with and the dates that would suit.

Your first hand experiences and opinions are hugely important to The Big Lunch. Its your stories that inspire others to join in and its your ideas that help us reach out and engage more and more people to take part each year. We want The Big Lunch to be happening in every county, town and village so please keep sharing and motivating others.

Its never too late to take part so register your interest and get our news and ideas.

Have fun at your Big Lunch.

This offer is available to Northern Ireland Big Lunchers only.

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Paws for The Big Lunch

May 26, 2016
Author: Elyse Clarke

We are 55 per cent more likely to start a conversation with someone if they have a dog and more than half of us say that having a dog improves relationships in the community! 

Dogs and their owners in Bermondsey Street prepare for The Big Lunch which is due to take place on the 12th of June. London, 24 May 2016.

While two thirds of us have never shared a meal with our neighbours, we are more likely to strike up conversation with those with dogs. Hosting or joining a Big Lunch on June 12th is a great way to make new friends, share stories, to have fun, whether you have a canine friend or not – it offers a simple way to make lasting relationships and most Big Lunches are also dog-friendly.

Our research revealed that having a dog is good for your social life, with 42% of people saying that they’ve made three friends through being a dog owner, as well as 75% of survey respondents saying that having a dog reduces feelings of loneliness.

This week we thought we’d put our research to the test at a dog-friendly Big Lunch in Bermondsey Street, London. Local dog owners brought their canine companions along for a day of dog-training, treats and cake, and spoke about how their furry friends have made their neighbourhood more friendly!

“My partner said ‘I wouldn’t have any friends if I didn’t have Sharky’ and that’s true for me as well, because I normally don’t like going out and meeting people but having Sharky makes it easier”.

Ariel and Sharky: “My partner said ‘I wouldn’t have any friends if I didn’t have Sharky’ and that’s true for me as well, because I normally don’t like going out and meeting people but having Sharky makes it easier”.

Lauren and her dog Minnie: “I lived on this street for a year before anyone spoke to me. But once I got Minnie that changed – now we can see 15 people we know before we’ve even crossed the road into the park! I’m not involved in a community of people ranging from 16 to 60 years old because of it [owning a dog].”

“The local area is a really good community. The dog owners here help each other out if someone’s going out for an evening, someone will volunteer to mind their dog, which is quite rare for London! Having a dog has definitely made us get to know people – it gave us an opportunity to talk to people when we were out.”

Katherine and George: “The local area is a really good community. The dog owners here help each other out if someone’s going out for an evening, someone will volunteer to mind their dog, which is quite rare for London! Having a dog has definitely made us get to know people – it gave us an opportunity to talk to people when we were out.”

But if you don’t have a canine companion, here is The Big Lunch’s guide to making new friends in your community.

  1. Volunteer – by giving your time to a worthy cause in the community, such as a charity shop or local food co-operative, you’re not only showing your support for a community venture but also making new friends with similar interests.
  1. Try a new hobby – whether you’re into sweating it out to carnival beats or prefer quiet conversation over the latest crime thriller, there are dozens of clubs and groups up and down the country that not only introduce you to new skills, but can also bring together lots of new faces.
  1. Be brave – if your morning routine regularly starts with a wait at the school gates or a queue in the coffee shop, don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with the person next to you. Us Brits are famous for talking about the weather, for a reason!
  1. Hold a Big Lunch – from street parties to community picnics, bring your neighbours together over a feast prepared by the entire street. Add decorations and music and you have all the ingredients for making new, lifelong friends, as well as building community spirit. 69% of Brits have never shared a meal with neighbours, a statistic that The Big Lunch is working to decrease.
  1. New neighbours – if you spot a sold or let by sign next door, it means that new neighbours are on the way who may not know anyone in the community yet. Once the removals van has left, pop around to say hello with a cup of sugar or flowers and let the conversation flow.
  1. Natter with newborns – there’s lots going on when you’re a new parent and plenty of places to meet and socialise – look out for sessions on offer including parent & baby coffee mornings, babycise and even baby yoga!
  1. Language tandems – if you’re lucky enough to speak another language, why not offer to share your skills in a language tandem and break down the language barrier with new friends, while brushing up for the next holiday. Find out more about language tandem via dedicated websites and community noticeboards.
  1. After school – if your children are school-age, then you have a perfect opportunity to meet other parents at PTA meetings, summer fetes, afterschool clubs and birthday parties.
  1. Random acts of kindness – whether it’s helping someone carry shopping to their car or offering your seat on a busy train to a person in need, small and random acts of kindness make the world a better place and create talking points.

 

Dogs and their owners in Bermondsey Street prepare for The Big Lunch which is due to take place on the 12th of June. London, 24 May 2016.

Dogs and their owners in Bermondsey Street prepare for The Big Lunch which is due to take place on the 12th of June. London, 24 May 2016. Join in here!

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Ysgol Y Deri offers the local community a taste of school life

May 25, 2016
Author: Elyse Clarke

Students at Ysgol Y Deri School have been putting their cooking skills in action this week in preparation for a very important community Big Lunch.

Over the past year, the students have been learning catering and life skills in the professional kitchen at the new ‘super school’ in Penarth. The catering course offers young people with a diverse range of special educational and behavioural needs a chance to learn all about food—from what’s in season, to how to prepare, cook and serve food—and help them build life skills too.

image

Ysgol Y Deri’s Big Lunch on 15th June, is a chance to show how much the students have learnt over the past year and to show how much their confidence and social skills have developed.

Parents, school governors, and residents from the local community and nearby sheltered accommodation have been invited to attend the Big Day—a lunchtime picnic in the school grounds. Treats for the day include vegetarian sausage rolls, quiches, scones, chocolate brownies as well as a Big Lunch special recipe drink created by one of the students: Tudor’s citrus party lemonade!

Catering tutor, Joe Rowson, said:

“The school has only been open eighteen months so our Big Lunch is a great way to welcome the local community to our school and share a special day with them. Although the food students cook is sold in the canteen, they’re too busy cooking and cleaning to see people enjoying it. Our Big Lunch will be a lovely opportunity for them to see how much their skills are appreciated and enjoyed.”

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Case Study, Charity, Community, News, Stories, Wales, Wales Case Study

What The Big Lunch means to the Molly and Mia Foundation

May 24, 2016
Author: Bob Fear

Dianna McDowell, a regular Big Luncher and founder of the Molly and Mia Foundation, tells us why The Big Lunch is so important to her community and her charity.

The Big Lunch in aid of the Molly & Mia Foundation

How did you first hear about The Big Lunch?

I picked up a Big Lunch pack a few years ago at the The Balmoral Show. I realised that team members from our charity, the Molly & Mia Foundation, had been involved in previous Big Lunches, just not under our name. When I saw that there was a weekend camp at the Eden Project for people wanting to get more involved in the Big Lunch I just had to register because I felt that they needed me and I needed them! I’ve always been a big community fundraiser and organiser and I work with an amazing team of helpers.

Can you tell us more about your charity – the Molly & Mia Foundation?

Our charity was formed six years ago – a few months after my darling twin daughters, Molly and Mia, died at birth because of pregnancy complications. I was very, very ill myself but I pulled through. I decided to organise all of my on-going fundraising efforts in to one foundation in the girls’ names.

What kind of work does the Molly & Mia Foundation do?

When we started the charity, we wanted to bring communities together – with a twist. Thanks to a fantastic team of volunteers we empower children aged 4 to 16 to organise local events. We help them set up Big Lunches as well as big steak barbecues for the community, family Christmas lunches, high teas and cooked lunches.

The Big Lunch in aid of the Molly & Mia Foundation

How do your volunteers go about organising their Big Lunches?

We run cookery and bakery schools and that’s where the kids get everyone together to take part in the Big Lunch. We teach the children how to make lots of things like pasta dishes, coleslaw and potato salad. We also bring in skilled cooks to show them how to prepare, chop, marinate, cook and garnish things like curries, pizza, garlic breads, bolognese, steak pies and chicken pies. In bakery class they make scones, cakes, sponges and pavlovas – all of which they prepare and decorate, then serve on the day… and they eat them as well, of course!

We’re very lucky to have Magees as our sponsors. They’re based in Asda stores and they’re so helpful to us. Without their support our Big Lunches couldn’t run like this.

What’s it like in the run up to The Big Lunch?

On the Thursday and Friday before it’s like a very busy hotel kitchen. The children are proudly showing everything they’ve learned in the classes. They’re busy preparing and cooking everything in readiness for our hot Big Lunch sit down meal or for our high tea.

The Big Lunch in aid of the Molly & Mia Foundation

And then on the big day?

Our kids are dressed up in our smart Magees aprons and our Molly & Mia hats and they’re busy serving the whole community who all come along and eat together. It’s lots of hard work but it’s all worth it when you see families from far and beyond all come together for The Big Lunch. It’s definitely the way forward for bringing communities together.

This is turn helps the Molly & Mia Foundation as we want families who have lost a baby to come together to get support after their loss. By bringing all these people together they learn more about our charity and they get involved.

We then go on to use our beautiful memory garden in Fivemiletown where we run family barbecues all year round. We also run other Big Lunch events at the Galgorm Resort and Spa where families from all over Northern Ireland come together and remember the baby they’ve sadly lost. By everyone working together, from our own volunteers, to the kids we teach, to our kind sponsors, we can make these valuable, much-needed events happen.

Find out more about the Molly and Mia Foundation

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Case Study, Charity, Community, Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland Case Study

Celebrate Neighbourhood with The Big Lunch

May 23, 2016
Author: Grainne McCloskey

Interested in taking part in The Big Lunch this June?

There is £2000 worth of £50 vouchers available to constituted and non constituted groups, neighbours, schools and clubs in Northern Ireland.

big lunch street party bunting

Find out how to win a voucher for your neighbourhood…

The Big Lunch is an initiative led by the Eden Project and funded by Big Lottery  encouraging neighbours to sit down and share food and conversation. Sounds simple and it is. Your Big Lunch can be anywhere from your garden to your street, park, school or shared space. Sunday 12th June, is a day of Big Lunches across the UK and in Ireland a day to enjoy with the people who live near you.

lady in wheelchair sips coffee at street party big lunch ardoyne

Flax Centre Ardoyne over 50s street party Big Lunch

There are lots of good reasons to have a Big Lunch, and we find they do lead to a stronger sense of community. We recommend you keep your event fairly simple especially if its your first year. Big lunches are best when you take part on a shoe string with everyone bringing something to the table, from home made cake to bunting and music. Everyone of any age can be a part of it and play their part in it too, from sharing memories to lending a hand, its all about celebrating good old fashioned community spirit!

People will be having Big Lunches on 12th June to celebrate good neighbourhood, and we hope you join in too!

a group of residents from high st comber having a big lunch street party

Comber neighbours annual Big Lunch

Why we started it

The Eden Project started The Big Lunch in the belief that we, as a society, are better equipped to tackle the challenges that we face when we face them together.

Recent studies show that communities across the UK are more fragmented and provide a lower sense of belonging than 40 years ago.

The Big Lunch proves how the simple first step of sharing lunch together can start to change how people feel as part of their wider community and can lead to much more.

Interested? Entering the competition is easy

And we really hope you and your neighbours will join in on Sunday 12th June. It’s going to be a very special day!

  1. Pop over to the website and order your free starter pack. www.thebiglunch.com
  2. Forward your confirmation email to gmccloskey@edenproject.com include..
  3. A very brief outline of where your Big lunch will be, what you are planning to do and what date in JUNE you are taking part (Sunday 12th is the official date but the competition is open until end of June).
  4. Advise which supermarket is near you.
  5. Provide a name and address for the voucher – this person must agree to be included in competition publicity.
  6. Confirm you are content to have your Big Lunch photographed and included in newspaper and social media publicity.
  7. We will be announcing winners every Friday from 27- May until 19 June on our facebook page  The Big Lunch Northern Ireland

For more information contact gmccloskey@edenproject.com

 

Terms and Conditions: (more…)

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With a Big Lunar Lunch, everyone can come to the table!

May 23, 2016
Author: Elyse Clarke

Negeena Khan, founder of Get2Gether (Mil Jul), talks to us about how she is tackling loneliness in her community and embracing The Big Lunch in a way that suits her and her community during Ramadan: the Big Lunar Lunch!

Lunar Lunch logo blog

“I have been hosting a Big Lunch in my local community of Bradford Moor since 2012. The events are rewarding because they are attended by people of all ages and cultures and have a very relaxing, friendly atmosphere, allowing the community to share a universal love of food whilst talking about issues that affect them. These events are crucial because they help to address the issues around loneliness within Bradford Moor identified by the local community following our involvement in the Neighbourhood approaches to loneliness programme, funded by Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

These two initiatives were the catalysts that helped me understand the underlying challenges facing our community and they offer possible solutions. They inspired and supported me to set up a confidence building group to empower local people to make positive changes in their community, with a clear focus on reducing loneliness. Since then we have set up a charity organisation called Get2Gether (Mil Jul). We look at ways to allow the community to meet in safe spaces, to share culture and skills, break down social barriers and help people connect.

Get2Gether is a group of local women who all want to improve their community and make it a happier place to live. People want to make things better, but they lack confidence. Initially a lot of my work focused on tackling these hurdles and building relationships within the community in order to bring about positive change. The members of Get2Gether are now empowered ambassadors who are able to speak to members of the community about issues and implement ways to improve them.

Get2Gether holds many events; as well as The Big Lunch we also organise Cultural Community Markets. These events have grown and now over 800 people attend. The markets are safe spaces to share culture and skills and find out what is available in the community and to find out who their neighbours are – they benefit residents of all ages.

What I love about The Big Lunch is the simplicity – it’s about getting together with your community to mix with different generations and cultures to have meaningful conversations with others. We share our stories, our love of food and our community. It’s a really positive event that brings people together, friendships grow, new ideas from and blossom.

The Lunar Lunch offers an alternative to the traditional lunch, which is great because some people find day time events difficult because of working patterns, religious beliefs and difficulties in making ends meet. With a Big Lunar Lunch, everyone can come to the table!

I have always received such positive feedback about the events we hold and people request they take place much more frequently. The Big Lunch is happening on the 12 June 2016, during the month of Ramadan where the traditional lunch hour will be missed during this blessed time. So this year I will be hosting a Big Lunar Lunch at iftari time (sunset), for those in my community who will be observing the blessed month of Ramadan.

As a Muslim I believe that before asking God for the welfare of one’s own household, we should ask for the same blessings for our neighbours. Ramadan is a time of spiritual renewal, doing good for others, prayer, and re-commitment to bettering oneself. We enjoy the increased opportunities to spend time and strengthen bonds with our families, friends and the community.

Following the precedents set by the Prophet Muhammed (peace and blessings be upon him) many people in my community deliver iftar platters to the neighbours as a way of spreading the Ramadan cheer and spirit. This opens up lines of communication, appreciation, and understanding between people.

This is indeed a good tradition and I want to take this one step further by hosting a Big Lunar Lunch at iftari time (9.42pm) on 11 June 2016.

So join me – get together with your community to have a Big Lunar Lunch! If we all embrace the opportunity to throw Lunar Lunch, we can make this a really positive time for everyone that will inspire others even beyond Ramadan. 

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Friendship heatwave hits the UK!

May 13, 2016
Author: Bob Fear

The Big Lunch's Human Warming regional map

Temperatures across the UK are soaring based on our ‘Human Warming Index’, which shows Big Lunch pack registration totals from 2010-2015.

While the map above shows how the different regions of the UK are faring, you can also check out how your local area is heating up on our interactive map here.

 

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Community, Friends, News

Dog lovers! Your Big Lunch needs you!

May 13, 2016
Author: Bob Fear

Jackson the miniature Dachshund revives his prize after the dog show during the Big Lunch 2015

Did you know, according to research, that dog owners are known to be a particularly friendly bunch? That’s why we’re celebrating the special relationship between dogs and people…

If you own a dog, are part of a community group bought together by dogs or hold a Big Lunch with any dog related activities, we want to hear from you!

You can reach us on 0845 850 8181 (local rates apply) or drop us a line to yourstories@thebiglunch.com

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Join in with The Big Lunch and win a bunch of goodies!

May 13, 2016
Author: Bob Fear

Organising a Big Lunch this year? Make sure you let us know to be in with a chance to win some Big Lunch goodies! It doesn’t matter if it’s your first Big Lunch and you are signing up for a pack, or if you are taking part this year but don’t need one of our packs, just make sure to register online to let us know you are joining in by Sunday May 29th and you’ll be entered into our Big Lunch prize draw!

The 2014 Big Lunch in County Antrim, Templepatrick.

We’re giving away 20 prizes to Big Lunchers, that will include a selection of  badges, t-shirts, mugs and aprons.Winners will be drawn at random from everyone that lets us know they are taking part in The Big Lunch by registering their participation or requesting a free Big Lunch pack here.

The Big Lunch teapot

The deadline for registrations being included in the prize draw is midnight on Sunday 29th May.

The prize draw is only open to residents of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Please read the terms and conditions below.

Terms and Conditions:

  1. Promotion is open to residents in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales only.
  2. Closing date for registrations being included in the draw is midnight on Sunday 29th of May.
  3. No charge is made to enter this competition and no purchase is required.
  4. One entry per household.
  5. Employees of the Eden Project, their immediate families, associated companies, distributors, third parties or anyone professionally connected with the promotion are excluded from participation.
  6. There will be 20 prizes announced all of equal value.
  7. There is no cash or other alternative Prize available. Prize is not transferable. Prizes will be dispatched within 10 days of announcing winner.
  8. Entrants must be holding a Big Lunch event in their community between June 11th-12th to enter.
  9. Entries must include a responsible adults name and contact details.
  10. Winners will be contacted by telephone or email by Tuesday 31st May.
  11. The Promoter will use the entrant’s personal information in order to administer and run this competition. The Promoter may provide the personal information of the entrant to third parties in connection with these uses.
  12. No bulk, third party or organised group entries will be accepted. All entries must be made directly by the person entering the promotion. Entries made indirectly or via the use of automated devices or processes are not allowed and all such entries will be disqualified.
  13. Entries not complying with these terms and conditions or which provide insufficient information on the online entry form will not be accepted by the Promoter.
  14. By entering, entrants agree that in the event of winning, they agree to take part in reasonable publicity as determined by the promoter for no further consideration.
  15. By entering all participants will be deemed to have accepted and be bound by these Terms and Conditions.
  16. The Promoter reserves the right to hold, void, cancel, suspend or amend the competition or terms and conditions where it becomes necessary to do so.
  17. The Promoter accepts no responsibility for entries that are not received for any reason.
  18. The Promoter’s decision on any aspect of the competition is final and binding and no correspondence will be entered into.
  19. The Promoter is the Eden Project.

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