The Big Lunch is supported by the Eden Project to improve the well-being of people throughout the UK. For one day a year, a neighbourhood comes together and I can’t think of a more heart-warming idea in these gloomy times.
Are you asking yourself the following question?
“But surely it’s more hassle than it’s worth? I don’t have weeks and weeks spare to donate my time to planning a community party!”
If so, never fear. Here is your guide to kicking off your own The Big Lunch in 12 hours (Allowing time in-between for the most important thing in the world: sleep) along with useful tips such as road closure licenses and event insurance.
12 Hours to Go – Make a Decision!
It’s going to be fair bit of hard work and may end up adding a small amount of stress to your day but the pay-off of seeing all your neighbours come together and celebrate the community will hopefully be enough to sway you in a positive direction. Make your decision and then get up and go!
11 Hours to Go – Who’s on-board?
Canvas your neighbours. Let’s see who likes the idea. Tailor your pitch to the listener. If they have children, paint them a reminiscent picture of children playing in the streets. If they are an older person, throw them back to a time of the queen’s coronation or jubilee. The street celebrations back then were magnificent and brought every community together.
10 Hours to Go – Pick your Place
A lot of community parties are held in the streets and obtaining a license from your local council to close the road can take anywhere between 4 to 12 weeks.
If you have that much time, brilliant, if not, you’re going to need to find somewhere else. Perhaps your yard or garden is big enough to house an event. If not, maybe your neighbours have a more accommodating space. Many streets have interconnected driveways or front gardens that would be ideal for a community party. Failing that, why not host your Big Lunch in the back alley? The cobbled streets can offer a reminiscent throwback to the older days.
9 Hours to Go – Who is bringing what?
If you have been successful in wetting your neighbours’ appetite, the chances are that you will be able to sway them bringing something along. Whether that be food, drink, entertainment or a music system. You could even ask for a donation of money. If everyone on your street donated just £2, you’re well on your way to covering some of the costs and expenses you will incur along the way for things such as one off event insurance.
8 Hours to Go – Kids are the Key
Families are more inclined to attend and enjoy an event if there is something for the children to do. Set up a craft table to hold their attention. You could even go one step further and accumulate garden play equipment from the residents and create your own little play area.
7 Hours to Go – Getting to know you…
There was once a time where you knew the name of every person living on your street. So why not bring that back? Get a hold of some sticky labels and create name badges. It might seem like a hindrance at first but once everyone gets into the flow, knowing someone’s name comes in handy when you need to know what day the recycling goes out.
6 Hours to Go – No one wants to be singing in the rain
If you live in England, it’s going to rain. Granted, it’s not a certainty, but in order to achieve your goal, a contingency plan is needed. What about the following?:
In case of rain –designate a house (most likely your own) and clear some space in your house to accommodate a bulk of guests. Continue the party there!
No one wants to cancel an event due to rain.
If you are hosting a large scale Big Lunch event that has incurred large costs and expenses, an adept event insurance services provider can help you with event cancellation insurance at very reasonable premiums.
5 Hours to Go – The literal game plan
Some people can talk for England. Others are a little more reserved. Start planning some fun games to play so that you can break the ice. Bear in mind your age groups. 90 year-old Jean from across the road might be opposed to playing Twister.
4 Hours to Go – Are we eating off the floor?
One of the key ingredients to hosting a Big Lunch is…well…lunch. The idea of everyone sitting round tables, enjoying each other’s company whilst tucking into a vast array of celebration food. If you do not have tables at your disposal, fear not, collect together all the large empty boxes, toy boxes or storage containers that you can find. Pile them together and throw a table cloth over them.
No one will know the difference.
3 Hours to Go – The share chairs
If 90-year-old Jean isn’t up for playing Twister, she most likely isn’t in the mood to stand and eat her food. Re-enlist your neighbours’ help and ask them to bring along some chairs. Whether they be camping chairs or fancy 6 piece dining furniture. It doesn’t really matter. If someone can park their derrière, they will be more than happy.
2 Hours to Go – The VIP Guest: Your play-list.
It’s no secret that music is the perfect tool to loosen a person up. No matter what sound-system you will be using, you need to choose your music carefully. Spotify is your friend and a perfect way to get hold of a plethora of music without shelling out 99p per track. Throw in a variety of songs from classics to the more popular chart hits and be very careful to not include any explicit language. Remember, there are children present.
1 Hour to Go – It’s a set-up!
Welcome to the scramble. This is where you will bring all of your ideas out into the open. Set up your tables / boxes. Organise your chairs and get the Macarena blurting out into the streets.
Your food and perishables are the last thing to go out and can maybe even wait until the event is in full swing. If your guests show hesitation in coming out, go and knock on their doors. Escort them into the party and make them feel like a VIP.
And there it is.
You have successfully planned and executed The Big Lunch in 12 hours.
Your job is to make sure everyone has fun but also for you to enjoy yourself. Be vigilant and eliminate any health and safety risks. You might just need a safety net, the one thing to give you absolute peace of mind. Arranging event insurance can provide you with that safety net protection should things go wrong.
For more information on The Big Lunch, head on over to: https://www.edenprojectcommunities.com/thebiglunchhomepage