This Summer, Neighbourhood Watch is supporting The Big Lunch which aims to bring together millions of people from across the UK to share food, have fun and get to know each other better.

It’s a simple idea from the Eden Project, made possible by the National Lottery, encouraging everyone to take to the streets, gardens and neighbourhoods to eat, chat and make friends on the first weekend in June.

Why is it important?

In a poll of 4,000 people undertaken by The Big Lunch, three quarters of all respondents (76%) felt that people were closer to their neighbours 20 years ago than they are today. However, despite a lack of community chatter, there is a strong appetite for getting to know our neighbours better.

Over three quarters (76%) of the population think it is better for communities if we know our neighbours and 62% would say ‘yes’ if a neighbour invited them round for tea.

Research from 2018 found that 4.5 million people who went to a Big Lunch made new friends and those taking part feel less lonely, are happier and say they have the confidence to do more in their community. Plus 66% of organisers felt that The Big Lunch can help reduce crime and make communities safer. Sounds good to us!

Jo Brand, Ambassador of The Big Lunch, said: “At a time when the country feels so divided and disconnected, it seems more important than ever to come together and remember the importance of community spirit. I went to my first one {Big Lunch} last year – a street party with a real mix of people chatting, eating and just getting to know each other better.”

John Hayward-Cripps, CEO of the Neighbourhood Watch Network, said: “At it’s heart, Neighbourhood Watch is about getting know your neighbours. Our communities are at their happiest, and most resilient to crime, when neighbours know one another and look out for each other. The Big Lunch is a great way to bring people together. I encourage everyone who can to get involved.”

How to get involved

Neighbourhood Watch members play a vital role in communities across the country. Why not have a Big Lunch to celebrate your neighbourhood, connect with new neighbours and just have a lovely day.

Big Lunches come in all shapes and sizes and can happen anywhere people can get together. Whether that’s around a kitchen table, in a garden, car park or a communal space, all Big Lunches are different and that’s how we like them.

There’s still plenty of time to join the party, you can keep it simple by bringing out some chairs and food to share, it’s the conversations that count.

Order your free Big Lunch 2019 pack today and get inviting those neighbours!