Wondering how you’re going to have a successful Big Lunch without a big pot of cash?
Fear not, The Big Lunch team have put together 5 handy tips for how to make your Big Lunch fabulous without a big price tag. And there are lots more ideas on our website. And if you have any favourite tips don’t forget to share with other Big Lunchers via Twitter and Facebook or email to email@example.com.
1) Word of mouth – the cheapest and often most effective way to spread the word, recruit help and canvass for ideas for your Big Lunch. Getting out and speaking to your neighbours might feel a little bit scary if you don’t know them but be brave, it will be worth it and you’ll be surprised how keen people will be – often they just want someone else to take the first step.
2) Grow-Your-Own – what could be better than sitting down with your neighbours and sharing food grown by your own green fingers? It’s fresh, healthy and you don’t need an allotment to get started, lots of things can be grown in pots or window boxes. Start by sowing the salad seeds enclosed with your FREE Pack and have a look at the grow-your-own calendar to see what other veggies can be harvested in time.
3) Bring-Your-Own – don’t fret about having to provide gourmet treats for the whole street, ask each neighbour to bring something to share at the table or their own picnic to eat. It’s often a great way to find out more about the different cultures and backgrounds of the people living near you.
4) Easy peasy bunting – there’s nothing quite like a bit of bunting to transform a street, garden or community space and give it a real Big Lunch feel. Shop bought bunting can be lovely but also expensive so have a go at making your own. There’s a handy bunting template in our FREE Pack so all you need is a bit of old material, clothes, sheets, magazines or papers. Ask each neighbour to bring a triangle then string them all together to make the best community bunting ever!
5) Scour for talent – there’ll be plenty hiding on your street, you just need to encourage it to come forward. Split tasks up, have a look at the activity and games ideas on our website or come up with your own, pooling talents and creativity will keep everyone entertained all day.
Don’t forget Big Lunches don’t have to be expensive affairs, the most important ingredient is the people!
Excitement here in the London office soared sky-high this week when we received a special message of support from none other than Her Majesty, The Queen!
The official letter from Her Majesty states that she is ‘delighted’ that The Big Lunch team are encouraging people all over the UK to hold celebrations in honour of her Diamond Jubilee this summer. The Queen also sent her ‘very best wishes’ to Big Lunchers throughout the country, and wished us all a ‘most memorable and enjoyable event’.
We’ve already heard lots of plans from people planning to celebrate the Jubilee, and lots from people planning some fun and food to simply celebrate their community.
We are delighted to have support from The Queen and Buckingham Palace for 2012, and the letter has certainly taken pride of place in our office!
How are you planning to celebrate Her Majesty’s 60th year on the throne in your area?
Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know.
And sign up for your special Big Jubilee Lunch pack, including a copy of the Queen’s letter.
As the sun shone gallantly over the Thames this week, The Big Lunch team joined forces with Team London and the Mayor’s office, and headed to City Hall to bring Londoners together to find out how they can contribute to what is set to be the biggest year yet for The Big Lunch.
We decided it was time to practice what we preach and, together with our guests, put on a feast fit for Royalty! We gathered previous Big Lunch organisers, London borough staff, Lord Lieutenants and our hugely valued partner organisations, who were each invited to bring a dish and make it a lunch to remember.
As guests began to arrive, so did the food, with the final buffet containing everything from delicious cupcakes to spicy Indian delicacies. The turnout was fantastic, with over 150 people coming to show their huge support for this year’s Big Jubilee Lunch. Lizzie Noel, the Mayoral Adviser on Social Action & Volunteering, took to the microphone and welcomed everyone with a speech on how important The Big Lunch is to London’s communities. After a few words from the our very own Peter Stewart, Eden’s Campaigns and Communications Director, and Adrian Evans, Pageant Master for the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant, it was time to eat – and eat everyone did, using eco-friendly plates and cutlery from the lovely people at Vegware.
A quick Q&A session rounded off the event, giving guests the chance to put forward any ideas and get their questions answered.
The event was a resounding success, with everyone enjoying the chance to talk, share ideas and look forward to what is going to be a very exciting summer for the capital – and indeed for the whole of the UK. We are delighted to have 64 Champions already signed up for London, to give anyone organising a Big Jubilee Lunch in their area all the help and support they need.
We will be running Champion events regionally in the coming months in order to recruit volunteers to make The Big Jubilee Lunch a huge success right across the UK.
To find out more, contact email@example.com or call 0207 255 6468
Visitors can find out about the stars of our galaxy by using a variety of professional telescopes, taking a virtual visit to distant corners of the universe in a portable planetarium, seeing live feeds from observatories around the world and handling and studying meteorites through microscopes.
There will also be a chance to see a big lights switch-off in the Biome and hear talks from experts on the night sky, life and death of stars, astronomical photography and plenty for younger visitors to enjoy plus lots more.
Eden is working with the Roseland Observatory and the University of Plymouth on the evening’s programme.
Stargazing Live, co-produced by the Open University, returns for a second three-night series broadcast on BBC Two January 16 to 18 – and Eden is due to be part of the final two programmes.
Presenters Professor Brian Cox and Dara O Briain will broadcast live from the control room of the Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire, interacting live with the audience and calling on a starry collection of the country’s finest astronomical minds to explore the majestic wonders of the skies above Britain.
The pair will tackle some of the most intriguing questions in astronomy, such as “Why does the moon cause the tides?”, “How do we know where black holes are when they are impossible to see?” and “What will we actually say if we ever make contact with an alien race?” There will also be hints and tips for getting started in stargazing and advice on navigating your way around the skies.
The Big Lunch is excited to announce a special endorsement from the Church of England for 2012’s The Big Jubilee Lunch. You can read all about it on Christian Today, Inspire Magazine, New Statesman and the Church of England’s website.
It’s great news as faith groups across the UK get on board to encourage local communities to get involved with The Big Lunch. Inter Faith Network UK, Faith Based Regeneration Network and HOPE Together are just a few of the faith organisations that we work with to spread the word.
Why not introduce your faith group to The Big Lunch as a great initiative to get faith groups and communities involved in, either by hosting an event at your place of worship or going along to others in the area. You can use it as an opportunity to engage with your local community, raise awareness of your faith, or just simply get to know your neighbours.
It’s not too early to start planning! To receive your free Big Lunch Pack, simply request a pack online at www.thebiglunch.com or alternatively call 0845 850 8181 to speak to one of the team
If you have begun 2012 in need of a big clear-out, why not make use of your old clutter and do some community sharing? As they say ‘One persons junk is another’s treasure!’
Here are 5 ways you can recycle unwanted items through community sharing:
1) Give it away
There are some great websites such as Freecycle, Gumtree, Freegle and Snaffleup, where you can advertise things for free; from books and clothes to sofas and bikes. They are usually free to post and you can request that the item is collected whenever suits you.
2) Lend it
Websites like ecomodo allow communities to lend and borrow each other’s everyday objects, skills and spaces with confidence. You can even choose to lend for free, for a fee or for charity.
Don’t forget: sharing with your neighbours is not only really helpful when in need; its also a great way of making new friends!
3) Swap It
Invite your friends and neighbours to a ‘swap it’ evening. Get them to bring things that they don’t want anymore and let the swapping commence. This works really well when you fancy a new wardrobe!
4) Give it to charity
Get your local community together and hold a local fete or charity sale while raising money in the process. Or even better, how about putting up some stalls on your Big Lunch this summer? You can can find more information on fundraising for charity at your Big Lunch here.
Tip: This is a great way to make use of any unwanted gifts from Christmas.
5) Re invent it
Some items may be a little too well used to give away, but all is not lost! Most things can be reinvented to be useful in others ways. For example old Clothes are great for Big Lunch bunting or odd or old shoes make quirky plant pots.
Our ideas pages are great for giving inspiration on transforming old clutter into fantastic Big Lunch decorations, games and entertainment!
2012 is set to be the biggest year for The Big Lunch yet, with a record number of people expected to take part in events of all shapes and sizes this summer.
After joining The Big Lunch in early 2011 as part of our valued family of Partners, Kingsmill, are planning some exciting events in the run up to June 2012. They will be running a series of events and competitions around the theme of putting the fun back into lunch, with inspiring sandwich ideas to brighten up lunch boxes and Big Lunches across the UK this summer.
To mark this exciting partnership, The Big Lunch logo will be printed on millions of Kingsmill loaves, muffins and pockets across the UK. So keep an eye out for these fantastic packs as they’re hitting the shelves in shops now.
For more information about Kingsmill and to check out some of their quick and easy recipes visit the Kingsmill website