Friday, May 25, 2012 - 15:00

Sixty children sat down for a party at the Eden Project in Cornwall today (May 25) at tables arranged in a giant 60  to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s six decades on the throne  - and just over a week to go to the Big Jubilee Lunch.

The setting was the bunting-bedecked Mediterranean Biome at Eden.  The idea for the Lottery-funded Big Lunch began at Eden and this year’s event will be the fourth annual get-together for neighbours and friends.

The pupils, from nearby Biscovey Academy and Biscovey Infants, tucked into tasty treats including a Biome-shaped cake and got in the party spirit by waving flags.

Eden’s Campaigns Director Peter Stewart said:  “We’ve had a great party here today and the sight of 60 children having so much fun was a lovely curtain-raiser for the big day.

“On Sunday June 3 we expect many millions of people to pull up a chair with their neighbours and friends right across the UK, the Commonwealth and the world in what will be a wonderful celebration of the Queen’s reign and a fabulous act of neighbourliness and community.”

Musical accompaniment was provided by acoustic act Kola, otherwise known as singer-songwriters Ryan Jones and Annie Baylis Gray. Their top song Driver for the Queen was written for Face Britain, a national film for the Prince’s Foundation for Children and the Arts. 

Since starting in 2009, thousands of Big Lunches have taken place in all kinds of communities and in 2011 the best part of two million people took part in events across the UK.

People across all 54 Commonwealth countries are being encouraged to hold their own Big Jubilee Lunch events as part of the celebrations on June 3.

The Big Lunch is funded by the Big Lottery Fund. Bringing communities together, reducing loneliness and isolation and helping to make a difference locally is at the heart of the Big Lottery Fund’s mission.

Looking ahead to the big event on June 3, Mark Cotton, Big Lottery Fund Head of Region South West, said: “The Big Lunch reflects the heart of the Big Lottery Fund’s mission to bring communities together, reduce loneliness and isolation and make a difference locally.

“BIG is therefore delighted to invest Lottery funding to help inspire communities and neighbourhoods to come together in the simple act of sharing a meal. We hope that sharing a bite to eat over the Jubilee Weekend will be a simple way to bring people together who might otherwise not have had the chance to meet.”

To find out more about the Big Lunch, go to: