On Sunday 2nd June 2013, neighbours, friends, families and local communities across Manchester came together to celebrate the fifth annual Big Lunch – a community initiative created by the Eden Project to encourage a few hours of fun, friendship and good food.

Big Lunch events took place across the whole of the city from small picnic gatherings in gardens to large street parties.

“…our neighbourhood has become a much friendlier, happier and safer place to live.”

One local neighbourhood who took part in the annual event was Brooklands Home Watch & Residents Association – a close knit community in the south of the city.

Brooklands Home Watch first began taking part in The Big Lunch five years ago following a new housing development opening close by. Keen to get to know their new neighbours, the community rallied together to arrange their first Big Lunch and they haven’t looked back since.

Paul Selby, chairman of Brooklands Home Watch & Residents Association, said: “It was amazing to see so many people enjoying themselves at our fifth annual Big Lunch. Thanks to taking part in this event our neighbourhood has become a much friendlier, happier and safer place to live.

“I would encourage everyone to get involved next year – we’ve had such a great time, not only today, but also planning the event…

“It’s fantastic to think that so many people across the UK are sitting down together at Big Lunches today. We will certainly remember our Big Lunch here for years to come.”

The Big Lunch hits Manchester I Love Manchester

And the organiser behind this event hasn’t stopped at just one Big Lunch, on 9th June Paul and the Friends of the Hall will be throwing a second in the form of a garden party at Wythenshawe Hall.

“…a wonderful occasion for people to get together in the name of community spirit, for a day of laughter, friendship and fun.”

Sir Tim Smit, co-founder of The Big Lunch, said: “Come rain or shine, The Big Lunch is always a great success and a wonderful occasion for people to get together in the name of community spirit, for a day of laughter, friendship and fun.

“After five years, it’s amazing to see so many people taking our simple idea and really making it work wonders for their communities. We’ve heard so many inspiring stories already and know they’ll be plenty more to come.

“Roll on The Big Lunch 2014.”

The Lottery-funded Big Lunch, supported by MasterCard, Kingsmill, Asda and Halifax is an annual event led by the Eden Project.

Inspired by this Sunday’s Big Lunch celebrations? There’s still chance to take part as you can organise an event whenever works best for your community. Free packs including undated materials such as posters, invitations, a planner and other resources to help organise your Big Lunch are available from www.thebiglunch.com until the end of June 2013.

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