How do you celebrate an event that Britain hasn’t seen since 1953? Connecting with your neighbours is a great place to start!
As part of a weekend of celebrations between Saturday 6th and Monday 8th May, His Majesty the King has invited communities to come together for a Coronation Big Lunch. This can range from a small gathering to a full-on street party. It is the perfect way to bring you and your neighbours together.
Whilst we recommend starting your planning three months in advance, organising a Big Lunch can be more straightforward than you think.
- Order a Coronation Big Lunch pack: Free resources will be made available online by the Eden Project’s Big Lunch team at CoronationBigLunch.com. There you can sign up for your free pack, which will be released in mid-February. It will include editable invitations, posters, recipes, and activity ideas.
- Pick a date: Sunday 7th May will be the most popular date, but you could consider Neighbourhood Watch Week which is 3rd - 9th June, during the Month of Community.
- Talk to your neighbours: Try to speak to all the households on your street – that way nobody feels left out!
- Invites: It is always a good idea to pop an invite or ‘Save the Date’ through each letterbox.
- Apply for a road closure: If you plan on closing the road, you will have to apply early – see your council’s website for more information.
- Share the work: One or preferably two months before your event, ask your neighbours for help sourcing tables, chairs, and decorations.
- Food: You could ask odd house numbers to bring something savoury and evens could bring something sweet!
- Games: Plan activities for all ages – these could involve a street quiz for grown-ups or a treasure hunt for children.
- Signage: If you plan on closing the road for your celebration, you will need to source road signage. Some councils may lend signs to you and some will tell you where you can hire them.
- Decorations: Plan how your street will be decorated. The Eden Project has some great ideas! Visit: edenprojectcommunities.com/make-it-happen/decorations.
- Rain: Of course, be prepared for rain! For ideas, visit: edenprojectcommunities.com/blog/weather-proofing-your-big-lunch.
A week before the event
- Reminders: Send out a Big Lunch reminder to all your neighbours.
- Set a time: Set a start time for lunch so that everyone knows when they need to be seated!
- Cars: Arrange that neighbours move their cars the night before and, if you are required to, display a legal order for road closure.
- Music: Choose a range of songs to cater to different tastes. Alternatively, on the day itself, you could ask your neighbours to tune in to the same radio station at the same time!
On the day
- Work together: Ask helpers to support you in safely putting up road closure signs and barriers and decorating your street. Work together to put out tables and chairs, music, food, and drinks.
- Start early: The earlier you start setting up, the more time you will have to share quality time with your neighbours.
- Enjoy: Enjoy the celebrations! Remember to take plenty of photos!
- Clearing up: Don’t forget to clear up and reopen the road after the party.
- Share: Share pictures of the event with your neighbours – it could be a great way of reconnecting with them and establishing future communication.
- Neighbourhood Watch: Why not share the joy with your local Association and the Neighbourhood Watch Network too? With your neighbours’ permission, you can send photos to email@example.com or by tagging us on social media.
- Remember to contact anyone who will be affected by a road closure (including the Police, Fire and Ambulance services, bus companies, taxi operators, local residents, and businesses).
- If you’re planning to close your road, Public liability insurance is essential.
- The sale of alcohol is prohibited. For this you will need a Temporary Events Notice (also needed if you are serving food and drink later than 11pm).
- Keep music at a reasonable volume throughout the celebration.
Please check your local authority’s website for more details and conditions.
- How to connect with neighbours: edenprojectcommunities.com/make-it-happen/how-connect-people
- How to break the ice: edenprojectcommunities.com/make-it-happen/how-break-ice
- Street party games: edenprojectcommunities.com/make-it-happen/games-room
- More street party ideas: streetparty.org.uk
The Big Help Out
On Monday 8th May 2023, The Big Help Out will encourage people to try volunteering. Have you considered a community litter pick for example? Not only is this a great way to make a real difference, but – by signing up with your neighbours and newfound friends – it could also be a fabulous opportunity to get to know your community even better. Visit thebighelpout.org.uk for more information.