With less than five weeks to go until The Big Lunch 2012’s key date (3 June 2012) NIFHA is supporting its members to take advantage of this opportunity for tenants to build community spirit and neighbourliness by hosting a Big Lunch in their street / scheme.
One of our members Trinity Housing participated last year. Residents of their Elmwood Grove scheme found their Big Lunch fostered greater understanding and mutual respect between the older Elmwood tenants and local young people. Trinity Housing has committed to participating in 2012’s Big Lunch along with other NIFHA members including Clanmil Housing and Oaklee Homes Group, whilst the Big Lunch has been positively received by other members who will distribute information on local Big Lunches to their tenants.
Commenting on the Big Lunch, Cameron Watt for NIFHA said:
“I am delighted to offer NIFHA’s continued support for The Big Lunch in 2012. It’s a great way of strengthening relationships and community spirit amongst neighbours, many of whom may never have spoken to each other before.
Our housing association members don’t just build and manage homes – they are committed to working with residents to create thriving neighbourhoods. This initiative is an ideal platform for tenants and their housing associations to make their communities even stronger.”
The Lottery-funded Big Lunch is a very simple idea from the Eden Project, encouraging stronger communities by helping get people out of their homes and talking to each other. It can be anything from a few neighbours getting together in the garden or on the street, to a full-blown community party with food, music and decoration that stops traffic.
Big Lottery Fund NI Director Joanne Mc Dowell said
“There are lots of reasons to join The Big Lunch, whether you want to reach out locally, encourage more volunteers to your organisation or simply get to know the people who live near you, The Big Lunch is a fun thing to do and it can be done easily on a shoe string.
“Quite simply we want to get as many people as possible to sit down and have lunch with their neighbours because The Big Lunch is all about starting good local conversations through food, friendship and fun!”
The Big Lunch campaign is sponsored by Big Lottery, Mastercard, EDF energy, ASDA and Kingsmill and the free packs have lots of goodies and materials to help groups get started.
Anyone can get a Free Big Lunch pack and hold their event at a time to suit them, or as announced by Buckingham Palace people can host it as part of the central weekend of Diamond Jubilee celebrations. You can even order a special free Big Jubilee Lunch pack containing a letter from the Queen.
Not convinced? Why not watch the special videos The Big Lunch has put together about the project and on Northern Ireland’s 2011 event:
- The Big Lunch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVZBYMWzcNA
- A taste of The Big Lunch in Northern Ireland 2011 http://youtu.be/s6qfKEdm9go
For further information and to get a free pack, go to www.thebiglunch.com.