Let’s do lunch…The Big Lunch, in Carlisle!
In 2009 Eden Communities, in Cornwall, had a simple yet inspiring idea: that one day a year, for a few hours, cars stop, shyness stops, gloom lifts and the UK come together in the street to meet, greet, share, swap, sing, play and laugh - for no reason other than that we all need to. And so, The Big Lunch was born!
Now, The Big Lunch is a national annual get together, with the aim to create stronger communities and increase the happiness and wellbeing of people across the UK.
In October 2018, the first Big Lunch task group meeting took place in Carlisle. A number of key partners came together to look at how we could bring The Big Lunch to Carlisle, in a BIG way. We want to help support Carlisle residents, neighbours, community groups, work places, school and more, to get together and celebrate our community with good food, friendship and fun.
The Big Lunch Carlisle will bring people together across the district. The event encourages residents to build their confidence, share their talents and grow community spirit. The Big Lunch Carlisle can also be used as a platform to support individuals and communities as they create positive change to tackle local issues that matter to them most.
The Big Lunch is the biggest community led event across UK.
Want to organise your own Big Lunch?
Your Big Lunch can be anything from a small gathering in a garden, park or driveway, to a larger party with tables down the middle of your street. The official Big Lunch date (first Sunday in June) isn’t practical for every community, so you can run a Big Lunch whenever you want!
If you do decide to run a Big Lunch event, don’t forget to tell us about it! We’d love to hear all about your event, no matter the size – and if you’d like to show people where your event is, we’d be happy to add it to our Big Lunch Carlisle map (coming soon).
Here’s how to get Involved:
Organising a Big Lunch shouldn’t be overly complicated or require a lot of resources or money; it can be as big or small as you like by making use of what you already have and doing a little research to see what others can share.
1. Settle on a venue
2. Pick a date
-Remember, we’d love to hear about your events – email us with your date, time and venue and we’ll add your event to our listings; also let us know if you'd like to be added to our map (coming soon).
3. Find out who wants to come
4. Plan the food
5. Make some decorations
6. Put on some music
7. Get local support
We’re excited to help bring our districts communities closer – to help do that, we’re creating a Big Lunch Carlisle Map! Here’s how it works…
Grow Your Own Big Lunch!
For those of you who are very organised, why not try to Grow Your Own Big Lunch?
If you don’t have space in your garden, you could look into the availability of an Allotment? Carlisle City Council keep an up to date list of all available Allotments, which can be found here: www.carlisle.gov.uk/Residents/Leisure/Allotments
The Big Walk Carlisle
What is it?
Another great way to both connect with your community and either work up a healthy appetite for, or walk off, your Big Lunch!
Don’t stop connecting with your friends and neighbours after lunch, why not make a day of it?! A bit of fresh air can do us a world of good; it’s good for both our mental and physical health, and enjoying a walk with a friend is good for the soul. We’re incredible lucky in Carlisle to have some fantastic parks and green spaces on our doorsteps. With this in mind, we’ve design some lovely little “Doorstep Walks” that can be easily downloaded and enjoyed with your friends, family or neighbours.
Big Lunch Quotes
“I love the way everyone brings something to the table. At most events, people turn up and take, whereas the giving is the best bit.”
“The party totally transformed the nature of the street; barely anyone knew anyone else before the party, but afterwards there was such a community spirit.”
“Something magical happens when people share a meal.”
“The Big Lunch is definitely the way forward for bringing communities together.”
Walking for Health
If you enjoy our Doorstep Walks, and walking with new friends, why not join one of our Walking and Exercise groups? We have a variety of different walking programs and something to suite every ability:
For more information visit the Walking and Exercise page, call Alison on 01228 817158 or click here to email
Eden Communities Project is the outreach programme for the Eden Project. Eden Communities believe in sustainability and resilience, along with human connection.
All photographs used are credited to The Big Lunch – Thank you