Big Lunch Extras

Find out what Big Lunch Extras is all about – and the impact we've had.

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What happens

Big Lunch Extras is a support scheme for individuals in the UK wishing to start a community initiative or take existing projects to the next level. It’s a Big Lottery funded project run by the Eden Project, which builds on the success of our Big Lunch programme.

In total we’ll have worked with around 900 individuals by the end of 2015, giving them the skills, inspiration and connections to make change happen in their community. We do this through:

  • Inspirational residential events at the Eden Project to help them meet others, boost their creative thinking, and pick up some of the skills to start making a difference where they live.
  • One-day road-shows across the country, to help develop skills and keep up the momentum. 
  • Ongoing support and advice from a team of ‘Catalysts’, as participants develop ideas.
  • An online library of useful guides, plus an online Community Chat area.

Does it work?

Absolutely! Here’s what people who’ve taken part have told us:

80% said that their confidence in key community skill areas has improved after coming on our events. 

One participant said: 'The programme gave me the confidence and determination to hold a Big Lunch in my new area. Here there are a high percentage of older residents, so it inspired me to engage with these people, I’ve made new friends already.'

8 out of every 10 people have started something new as a result of Big Lunch Extras. 

Examples include David, who is now running a community kitchen with another local organisation after being inspired by Big Lunch Extras to network with others in his area. Also Alex, who organised a successful torchlight carnival in Bow, East London after getting interested in the idea at a Big Lunch Extras community weekend.

98.5% have taken action that drives Big Lunch events and other community activities within their neighbourhoods – for example sharing their idea with someone, or applying for funding.

I’m completely inspired and motivated to get on and make my project work!

Big Lunch Extras participant

How to get involved

Visit the Big Lunch Extras website to see if it sounds like your cup of tea and if you’re eligible for a free place on the programme. There, you can find out about forthcoming events, connect with other participants online, and apply to take part.

I feel so full of gratitude to have had the opportunity to experience this weekend.

Big Lunch Extras participant