Thursday, July 16, 2009 - 11:53

The Big Lunch this Sunday July 19th

This Sunday will see millions of people break out the bunting in the UK’s biggest collection of open-air parties since the Golden Jubilee. The celebratory mood across the nation has been growing in the countdown to the big day, with an incredible two million people now expected to take part in The Big Lunch on July 19th.

The Big Lunch an idea created and organised by the Eden Project, in partnership with MasterCard, and supported by EDF Energy and the Royal Mail Group, aims to bring together as many people as possible in the UK to have Sunday lunch with their neighbours and put a big smile on Britain’s face.

Eden Project Chief Executive Tim Smit said today: “The greatest things in life are simple and great memories are usually made of things we do ourselves. So, all we want is for people to get out on their street, raise a glass and share a bite with their neighbours – that’s The Big Lunch. My hunch is that by Sunday teatime, we’ll all have made a few more friends.”

Paul Twivy, The Big Lunch CEO commented, “It has been exhilarating to watch the momentum grow as millions turn out on the streets to have fun, to meet their neighbours and to prove that Britain is far from broken. Every day we hear how The Big Lunch is helping to bring people together in every kind of community imaginable. With almost 1 in 3 of us living on our own it’s time we realised that our neighbourhood is the biggest, untapped source of practical help and happiness in our lives. We hope that this Sunday will see friendships forged that last long after the bunting is taken down.”

Jamie Oliver, who in a recent study commissioned by MasterCard (38%) was named the ideal neighbour for those aged 18 – 34, urged people to get involved, "Just as people across Britain are facing tough times, The Big Lunch provides a perfect opportunity for British people to show their fighting spirit in times of adversity, simply by getting communities together, eating lunch, bonding with their neighbours: fingers crossed for sun and let's get people across Britain smiling again."

  • Big Lunches are taking place from the Celtic Gateway to the Humber Bridge and from Aberdeen to Bodmin, including:
  • A 5,000-strong Big Lunch in Toxteth, Liverpool, hosted by Arts in Regeneration, which will see 5 streets transformed into an open-air gallery promenade with cultural food, film, football, art, dancing, choirs and buskers
  • Garstang, the world’s first ever Fairtrade town twinned with the Ghanaian town, New Koforidua, and now twinning their Big Lunch too
  • Sikh gurdwaras in London and Bradford will be sharing a magnificent curry for The Big Lunch through the institution of ‘langar’ - people from different religious and social groups cooking and eating together

The Big Lunch takes place on Sunday July 19, 2009.

Visit for more information.