Communities told to get together for lunch

Visitors at a Big Lunch which was held last year.
Visitors at a Big Lunch which was held last year.

Areas that need a boost in community spirit should hold an annual get together for neighbours at a Big Lunch event.

That is the view of the organisers, Eden Project.

Eden Project says that neighbourliness has a “huge welfare value to people living in Northern Ireland” and can mean reductions in the demands on public services such as health care, social care, welfare and the environment.

Eden Project Communities country manager Grainne McCloskey said: “The Big Lunch is a great first step that just about anyone can take towards bringing their community together and making it a better place to live. It starts with just knocking a neighbour’s door.

“We would love to see a Big Lunch on every street and in every town across Northern Ireland, especially in areas that need a boost in community spirit, and we are here to help.”

Noel McKee, from Whitehead, brings his community together every year for a day of celebration.

Noel said that 120 people attended last year’s Big Lunch in Whitehead.

He added: “Our Big lunch is always in the centre of the town in an open green space, and it’s accessible to everyone in the town, and family friendly. The Big Lunch is very important and at the heart of what’s happening in the community. Our Big Lunch was so diverse too. We had people from Poland, Uganda, Philippines, America, Canada, Republic of Ireland and the UK.

“I just feel it’s the right thing to do. I love this town and if anyone was visiting, I want them to think it’s a lovely place that has a wonderful and invaluable thing called community.”

If anyone would like more information on Eden Project Communities and The Big Lunch, please visit visit the website www.edenprojectcommunities/thebiglunch or contact gmccloskey@edenproject.com