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Group of neighbours in a street at a party

The Big Lunch

We’re inspired by the belief that bringing people together enables change for the better. That’s why we created The Big Lunch, the UK’s biggest annual get-together for neighbours, generating new connections, celebrating community, and helping people to make change where they live.

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The Big Lunch logo

Imagine a summer's day on which millions of us, across the land, sit down to have lunch together – in the middle of our streets, around our tower blocks and on every patch of common ground. A day to break bread with our neighbours.  

That was our vision here at the Eden Project back in 2009 when we invited people right across the UK to hold a Big Lunch in their neighbourhood for the very first time.

More than a decade on, some 6 million people around the world take part in the annual event each year, joining together in all sorts of ways, from inner city street parties to rural get-togethers in someone’s garden. With them they bring bunting, trestle tables, food, drink, music, three-legged races, talent shows, laughter... 

But behind the decorations, the games, the cakes, something really important is happening: people are actually coming together, often for the first time in a long while, to make something happen. 

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Girl with facepaint and elderly lady enjoying a drink together

Omer, Big Lunch participant

“It’s really important to forge relationships and break down barriers so we’re able to say we’re all the same, we’re all human.”

The Big Lunch can make a difference to how we see and feel about communities; it’s an opportunity to share cultures, experiences, stories, ideas and skills – helping people grow local connections and feel a greater sense of belonging to where they live.

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Did you know?

On average, more than 6 million people take part in The Big Lunch each year, started by the Eden Project.

The magic starts way before the big day, of course, as neighbours knock on each other's doors to drum up interest, pulling together committees, organising kitties, and starting up messaging groups for their street. 

And the closeness goes way beyond The Big Lunch itself. We’ve had people write in to tell us how they and their newfound friends are going to do much more together, from mince pies at Christmas to creating a community garden. The experience has even encouraged some people not to sell up and move, now that they know they can count on their neighbours.  

It's this simple stuff that ‘community spirit’ is made of. But when we say ‘community spirit’, we don’t only mean neighbourhoods where people thrive, but communities which are resilient in the face of all sorts of local and global issues that the future might throw at them.  

For we know that the challenges our society and planet face will demand the best from all of us and the ability to work together. And here at the Eden Project, where we’ve created a thriving global garden out of a hole in the ground, we are firm believers in what ingenuity, resourcefulness, hope, and determination can do. Ordinary people doing extraordinary things. 

Get involved where you live

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Eden's belief in community

Eden is a testament to the power of ordinary people working together. Find out how Eden is helping strengthen communities around the UK and beyond.

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