Dreamed up by Tim Smit and Paul Twivy one morning at the Eden Project, The Big Lunch, is a national event, taking place on Sunday 19th July, which is hoping to see millions of people across Britain get together with their neighbours to share food, drink and conversation. As part of The Big Lunch, CitySocialising are organising picnics in 6 UK cities including Glasgow, Leeds, Nottingham, Brighton, Edinburgh and London, where they aim to get the biggest Big Lunch group together for the day in the Capital’s Regents Park.
A community-building project, backed by partners MasterCard and EDF and a whole host of celebrities, The Big Lunch has been launched to encourage people to reach out to and get to know their neighbours and locals better. Whilst 9.6 million UK residents regularly used social networking sites in 2008, according to research conducted by the BBC, 97% of UK communities have become more fragmented in the last 30 years. 1 in 6 of us may be extolling the virtues of Web 2.0 but most of us are experiencing the isolation of what one might term “Community 1.0”.
In April of last year, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation conducted a survey of 3,500 people. Their biggest single concern, across the social spectrum, was that communities are weak and people are increasingly isolated from their neighbours. Professor of Human Geography, Daniel Dorling commented: “Even the weakest communities in 1971 were stronger than any community now.”
CitySocialising, with its focus on members meeting new friends and socialising in the real world with other likeminded people from their neighbourhoods, is the perfect fit with The Big Lunch. Dedicated to the growing number of busy professionals who are seeking help online to organise their social lives offline and to simply meet new local friends with shared interests, CitySocialising CEO Sanchita Saha commented:
“The Big Lunch shares exactly the same ethos with CitySocialising – of meeting and with others from your local community in the real world, so our involvement is a very natural fit. CitySocialising began life as a service for young professionals relocating to new cities through work, to make it easier to integrate into city life, where the fast-pace and lack of communities can make it difficult to meet new people. However, our 19 city networks across the UK are now equally attracting city locals reaching out to find new friends from their local area to make the most of life with.
Our picnics will be taking place all over the UK and we’d like to invite not only our existing members together, but anyone else who doesn’t have a Big Lunch going on in their own street to join us as everyone is welcome!”
Meet people in London and new London friends at CitySocialising’s The Big Lunch London, Regents Park.
Meet people in Leeds and new Leeds friends at CitySocialising’s The Big Lunch Leeds, Roundhay Park.
Meet people in Nottingham and new Nottingham friends at CitySocialising’s The Big Lunch Nottingham, Wollaton Park.
Meet people in Brighton and new Brighton friends at CitySocialising’s The Big Lunch Brighton: The Royal Pavillion Gardens.
Meet people in Edinburgh and new Edinburgh friends at CitySocialising’s The Big Lunch Edinburgh, The Meadows.
Meet people in Glasgow and new Glasgow friends at CitySocialising’s The Big Lunch Glasgow, Kelvingrove Park.