Practising for Her Majesty The Queen’s Big Jubilee Lunch begins

There may still be a year to go before The Big Jubilee Lunch, but practising was well underway this weekend as neighbours across the UK joined in the opening weekend of The Big Lunch 2021.

Bunting and baking were out in force as communities in all four nations took the opportunity to come together for covid-safe community celebrations. From Ashford to Wakefield hundreds of people around the UK enjoyed Big Lunches this weekend.

Next year will provide an opportunity for communities and people UK wide to come together to celebrate both the historic milestone of HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and the important local connections that have helped us through the toughest times.

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In 2022 The Big Lunch will bring the Jubilee celebrations into the heart of every community. People will be invited to share friendship, food and fun with neighbours, big or small – street party or picnic, tea and cake or a garden barbeque.

This year The Big Lunch is expecting thousands of mini socially safe warm-up events throughout the whole month of June as people give thanks and celebrate their connections and get to know each other a little bit better, have fun and come together in recognition of their valued neighbourly ties.

Peter Stewart, Executive Director of the Eden Project, founder of The Big Lunch said: “We had the huge privilege of bringing people in our UK communities together in celebration of Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012. It’s a truly incredible honour that we’ve been invited to do that again to mark her historic Platinum Jubilee in 2022! We hope that this year many thousands of small socially safe events will take place so that people can give thanks for the incredible community spirit that’s helped us through an intensely difficult year, warming up for what will be a big bang of a stupendous celebration next year!”

At a time when the biggest test of society has strengthened community spirit, there are now more reasons than ever to share time and show we appreciate the people we live alongside, as the recent survey conducted on behalf of The Big Lunch, shows 12 million people feel closer to their neighbours now than before the pandemic.

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The Big Lunch survey further revealed that a quarter of the population now recognises the importance of good ties to their neighbours and that 40% of the population are more likely to help in their local community since the start of the pandemic, with 1 in 3 of us now more likely to take social action for a cause we believe in.

TV Presenter and Great British Bake Off finalist Briony May Williams is supporting The Big Lunch: “What a great excuse to bust out some bunting and get baking,” she says. “Food has always been the perfect way to connect people and that’s what The Big Lunch is all about. After such a tough year it’s lovely to be able to meet safely, in small neighbourly get-togethers, to celebrate community.

Peter Stewart, added: “For many of us, the pandemic has brought neighbours and communities closer together, so this year, The Big Lunch – the UK’s annual celebration for neighbours and communities – is spreading out over a whole Month of Community for the first time in its 13-year history. It means you and your community can join in when it suits you and you can support some amazing causes like Carers Week, Small Charity Week, Loneliness Awareness Week and The Great Get Together. The Month of Community culminates on Thank You Day on 4 July when individuals, groups and other organisations will be urging us all to pause to say thank you to each other.”

This year The Big Lunch, an idea for the Eden Project made possible by The National Lottery and new headline sponsors Iceland and The Food Warehouse, is encouraging the nation to safely celebrate communities, neighbourhoods and small charities that have helped to keep us connected. Next Year, The Big Jubilee Lunch will mark the historic milestone of HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

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