Last Sunday hundreds of people across Derry sat down with neighbours and residents in their communities for the sixth annual Big Lunch.
They joined an estimated 4 million people across the whole of the UK, as The Big Lunch seems set to establish itself in the nation’s annual calendar on the first Sunday every June.
The Big Lunch, which is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and led by the Eden Project, encourages people across the UK to have lunch with their neighbours once a year, for a few hours of community, friendship and fun.
Derry City Council embraced community spirit in support of the UK-wide Big Lunch initiative, providing a chance to lunch alfresco on the city’s historic walls with a walking lunch tour.
Mayor of Derry City Council, Cllr Martin Reilly said the Big Lunch event was a huge success in building stronger communities. “This event has been a phenomenal success and an event that we will continue to build on, supporting this annual UK-wide celebration of neighbourhood. With people’s lives becoming increasingly busier, this event provided a perfect chance to take time out, meet up with neighbours, have lunch and a long overdue catch up.
Leona McMenamin from Kinship Care in Derry said: “We are really delighted to be working with The Big Lunch this year as it’s a great way to bring everyone together and give some support to our marathon runners.
“We aid grandparents and other family members who look after children in their extended families, and we often find they feel isolated in their community. Organising a Big lunch has allowed us to reach out to these families and introduce them to people in a similar position.
“The small conversations and shared experiences can make a big impact on their lives and it gives the children a fun day of activities too.”
Inspired by this Sunday’s Big Lunch celebrations? There’s still chance to take part as you can organise a Big Lunch on a date to suit your community. Free packs including posters, invitations, an inspiration booklet and other resources to help organise your Big Lunch are available from www.thebiglunch.com until the end of June 2014.