It is almost a year since we moved out of our rented house in Lenzie in to our very own home. We bought a newly built house in a large development on the outskirts of Lenzie, and have had a great first year getting things in the house in order, and getting to know our neighbours. We count ourselves very lucky, as we have a lovely set of neighbours, with whom we have become friends in a relatively sort space of time. I think moving to a new development makes it very easy to make friends as everyone is in the same boat, settling in to their shiny new homes!
Just over a month ago a little card arrived through our door inviting us to a Big Lunch in our corner of the large development that we Iive in.
The Big Lunch brings communities together simply by sharing lunch in the form of a street party.
- By simply having some fun with our neighbours on one day in the summer, we can build new friendships that we can enjoy for the rest of the year.
- The Big Lunch is a chance for neighbours from different generations and backgrounds to hear each other out and share stories, skills and interests. We call this phenomenon ‘human warming’.
- In getting to know who you live beside we can build support networks and contacts that make communities stronger and the people in them feel better about society.
So last Sunday we attended our neighbourhood’s Big Lunch. We had a fantastic day mingling with our neighbours, meeting new neighbours, enjoying some fabulous food, music, a few drinks, and a rare appearance from the sun!
There was plenty for the kids to enjoy from football, to bouncy castle madness, to face painting. Little Squirrel had a ball, and a week on keeps asking if we can go back to the party.
Big Thanks to our neighbour Emma who organised the day. She did an amazing job planning the event, sourcing the food and entertainment and bringing all the neighbours together. I decided to ask her a few questions about the amazing day she planned…
What inspired you to plan The Big Lunch?
I have lived in the street for over a year at the flats, and although amongst the neighbours in the flats we all talk a lot and socialise, I was conscious that there were young families who had not yet met everyone and there were so many children within the street who could benefit from meeting and playing together as there was a likelihood of them attending the same schools. With so many families moving into the area, I also thought that making friends with your neighbours was a good thing to build networks. I heard about the fund through my work and thought I would apply and help bridge the gap between the neighbours!
What help/resources were available to you for planning the day?
I received a grant from The Big Lunch for £170 to set up the day, which came with a starter pack of posters and invites and press releases and I started organising the event including contacting local businesses for donations. Persimmon homes also gave a cash donation to help towards the smooth running of the event.
What local producers supplied resources for the day?
S Collins & Sons Butchers provided us with 100 steaklet burgers, Sainsburys provided us with 50 cupcakes and 2 members of staff to serve these on the day, Tesco gave us a £20 gift card to spend on food and drink towards the event, Asda Robroyston provided us with fresh cakes and treats for the event, Billingtons of Lenzie provided us with a case of Prosecco and 24 Fruit Shoots for the children.
What was the best bit of the day for you?
I think seeing all the neighbours mingle, and the children playing together was what made the day for me. All the hard work preparing and organising the event had paid off. Oh and the gorgeous weather I ordered!
Do you think you would do it again next year?
So many people thanked me on the day for organising it and asked for a similar event next year, so I will get my thinking cap on. I have a neighbours Christmas Night out to organise first at the request of so many neighbours!
If you’ve been inspired by Emma to organise a Big Lunch for your own neighbourhood check out the Big Lunch website!