Ainsley Harriott, Ambassador to The Big Lunch and Coronation Big Lunch, is urging the people of NI to take part in a 'Big Knock' to invite neighbours to join in Coronation Big Lunch celebrations.

Ainsley Harriott urges the people of Northern Ireland to take part in a ‘Big Knock’ to invite neighbours to join in Coronation Big Lunch celebrations on 6-8 Ma

One of the best loved celebrity TV Chefs, Ainsley Harriott (MBE), is urging people in Northern Ireland to have the “craic” with their neighbours by hosting a Big Lunch.

With two weeks to go, now is the perfect time to get the party planning in full swing as neighbours and communities across Northern Ireland prepare to come together to mark the Coronation of His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Queen Consort. People everywhere are invited to share friendship, food and fun at Coronation Big Lunch street parties and community celebrations in a moment in history.

As the countdown to celebrations begins, Eden Project, the people behind The Big Lunch community celebrations bringing millions of people together each year, welcomed Ainsley to meet those who are busy preparing to encourage people everywhere to join in.

Ainsley Harriott, Ambassador to The Big Lunch and Coronation Big Lunch said: “So, come on. Have a craic with your neighbours at the Big Lunch.

“You might feel nervous about knocking on someone’s door to invite them to a Coronation Big Lunch, but take the plunge and we're sure you’ll be met by welcoming faces. Celebrations are just weeks away, so now is the time to get the ball rolling! The Big Lunch website is the place to get all the downloadable resources you need -, so you can share the invitation in plenty of different ways! Everyone UK-wide is invited to join in, whether that’s with a garden picnic, having a cuppa on your doorstep, or a party in your street. The Big Lunch is the perfect opportunity to get to know people where you live a bit better. So, come on. Have a wee bit of fun with your neighbours at the Big Lunch and mark this moment in our nation’s history together on 6-8 May.”

Grainne McCloskey, Scotland and Northern Ireland Regional Manager at Eden Project Communities, said: It’s been absolutely brilliant to have Ainsley’s help to get our invites out. The Big Lunch is more than just  good fun - people feel less lonely, raise money for the things they care about, make new friends and go on to get more involved with their community, all as a result of sharing a sandwich and a wee chat in their neighbourhood. Big or small, on your street, in your back garden or on your doorstep - anyone and everyone can be part of this special moment. It just takes one person to get the party started so why not give it a go and knock on your neighbour’s door.”

After almost three decades as one of the country’s favourite TV chefs, Ainsley has become something of a national institution. In 2020 he was delighted to be awarded an MBE and has been an ambassador to The Big Lunch since 2018.

Ainsley who is best known for his twenty-one series of Ready, Steady, Cook, and synonymous with friendliness, fun and good food, took to the streets of London last week, lending organisers a helping hand ringing doorbells and delivering invitations to demonstrate how easy it is to invite neighbours to take part in The Big Lunch.

For those people who were not at home on the day to receive a personal invite, Ainsley helped to post invitations in letter boxes and put posters up on garden fences. He also encouraged organisers to spread the word on their social media. The FREE digital packs available from the website contain free posters and invites to print, with digital versions to share.

The Coronation Big Lunch will form a central part of the celebrations for His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Queen Consort’s Coronation Weekend between 6-8 May. Tens of thousands of events of all shapes and sizes are expected to take place across the UK with neighbours invited to join the celebrations in whatever way works for them. By bringing neighbours, communities and the nation together in celebration, the Coronation Big Lunch will help people make new connections and friends where they live, raising community spirits as part of this historic occasion. Her Majesty The Queen Consort has been Patron of The Big Lunch since 2013.

The Big Lunch has been running annually since 2009 and is made possible by The National Lottery. Last summer people across all four nations got together with a Big Lunch, with many positive impacts felt by those taking part. Millions of people said the event helped them to feel less lonely, 92% of organisers reported it had a positive impact on their community. Almost two thirds of people who took part said it encouraged people to get more involved in voluntary work. Big Lunch organisers have raised a whopping £70m for good causes since 2015. 

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Last updated 1 year 2 months ago