People living at Lisnavar Court, Lisnamone Court, Harberton Park, Sherman Court and Clooney Terrace independent living housing schemes in Londonderry made their way to Somme Park in Londonderry along with friends and family to enjoy food, friendship and ice cream.
Anne Charge, who lives at Somme Park, said: “It was great to see everyone getting together and having a good time and there’s been such a feel good factor all day. Events like this really strengthens the community and I’m already looking forward to next year.”
Tim O’Malley, Clanmil’s Community Development Manager explained: “The idea behind The Big Lunch is that great things happen when you bring people together. We hope that bringing our tenants and their friends and families together over food, to share conversation and build lasting bonds, will help increase the sense of pride and belonging in where they live, helping to creating connections and inspiring them to make a positive difference in their local area - all of which will help make the community stronger and happier.”
Grainne McCloskey NI Manager, Eden Project Communities concluded: “We are delighted Clanmil are bringing The Big Lunch idea to their neighbourhoods across Northern Ireland as part of their investment in strengthening communities. This simple idea from the Eden project made possible by National Lottery invites neighbours to get to know each other better, it’s a national celebration of community and everyone is invited to take part. A free pack is available at www.TheBigLunch.com. There is lots of evidence of the cost of disconnected communities and the impact on public services such as emergency services and doctor surgeries is huge. We know that kindness and good neighbourly relations can make a massive difference to the epidemic of loneliness and all it takes is for a few friendly people to start the ball rolling by inviting neighbours to join in this UK wide get together.”
The Big Lunch, made possible by the National Lottery, has been running since 2009 and is the brainwave of the Eden Project, a social enterprise that aims to improve the happiness and wellbeing of people across the UK by helping build more resilient and better connected communities.
People living in Clanmil’s communities throughout Northern Ireland will be taking part in a total of eight Big Clanmil Picnics throughout June, joining the millions of people across the UK set to enjoy Big Lunch events.