Communities brought together by Big Lunch events across Scotland
Millions of people across the UK have been getting to know their neighbours better as part of The Big Lunch - the UK’s annual one-day get-together for communities.
Led by the Eden Project and made possible by the Big Lottery Fund, street parties took place across Glasgow and Edinburgh with Big Lunch picnics happening in Dumfries and Rutherglen while there was even a Gruffalo-themed event in Brechin, Angus.
The Big Lunch aims to create community spirit by building stronger neighbourhoods. It comes in response to surveys showing than two thirds of adults in the UK say they feel lonely either often, always or sometimes while one in 10 people say they do not know their neighbours at all.
People are the key ingredient of Big Lunch events, with those taking part creating friendlier communities in which they start to share more, from conversation and ideas to skills and resources.
Millions of people all over the UK take time out of their busy lives to talk, laugh and eat with their neighbours - Sir Tim Smit
Lara Celini, who organised the second Big Lunch, with her neighbours in Willowbrae, Edinburgh, explained: “It seems to be a common theme that neighbours have fewer opportunities to meet. In Willowbrae, we’ve seen the closure of the baker, post office, pub and chemist. Some of us lead such busy lives that unless we make an effort, chances are we won’t see or speak to our neighbours.
“The Big Lunch felt like the perfect excuse to bring everyone together. The real benefits we’ve felt since our first Big Lunch include a greater sense of community and in building trust. Once you’ve chatted to someone over cake (or chocolate dipped strawberries, or green smoothie, or home made pakora!) then what you’ve actually done without noticing it is broken down some imaginary barriers.”
Sir Tim Smit KBE, co-founder of the Eden Project and The Big Lunch, says: “The Big Lunch is always special as millions of people all over the UK take time out of their busy lives to talk, laugh and eat with their neighbours. It is based on a simple concept: if we spend a Sunday afternoon with our neighbours in June, we’ll build friendships and stronger communities that will last for years.
“It’s about making our streets happier, safer and less lonely places and it’s fantastic to see so many people taking part this year.”