Biggest lunch is a worthwhile munch

IT’S Northern Ireland’s biggest lunch date of the year – and anyone taking part is has the chance to win a number of tasty prizes, including a cookery masterclass with TV’s Jenny Bristow.

The ‘Hearty Lunch’, organised by health charity NI Chest Heart and Stroke (NICHS) and supported by O’Brien’s Sandwich Bar, Northern Ireland’s leading sandwich chain, will be held on June 15 and will encourage people to host a meal, invite friends and charge each of them a modest fee, which will be donated to the charity’s work.

The event got off to a flying start as UTV’s Julian Simmons – who recently underwent cardiac surgery – gave it his stamp of approval.

NICHS is issuing a challenge to host the most extreme lunch – the highest, the lowest, the wackiest, the biggest or whatever else takes your fancy. All ideas are welcome, provided they pose no risk to the participants. The best in this section will win a masterclass with Jenny Bristow and an Olympic-style medal to put on their Facebook or Twitter profile.

A free sandwich from O’Brien’s is on offer to the first 50 people to sign up to host a Hearty Lunch. The first 20 businesses to register have a chance to win a lunchtime platter to get the party going. The first 5 people to raise more than £500 will go into a prize draw to win a masterclass with Jenny Bristow, while 10 people raising more than £300 will have their names entered in a draw to enjoy free lunches for a month, thanks to O’Brien’s. In addition, the sandwich chain will donate all proceeds to the charity for every lunch it sells on June 15.

The aim of the event is to encourage as many people as possible to have a healthy, cost effective meal and seek a minimum donation from each person attending. People might also want to hold other fundraising opportunities at the lunch, such as a raffle.

Siobhan Hanley, NICHS Fundraising Director said: “20 people a day in Northern Ireland die from a chest, heart or stroke illness. The Hearty Lunch will raise funds to support NICHS local services such as cardiac, stroke and respiratory support groups across Northern Ireland, as well as Stroke Family Liaison teams who help local families to cope with life after a stroke.”

Ideas to get people started on the Hearty Lunch are posted on the charity’s website It has also established a Facebook page containing tips, information and healthy recipes, at And you can follow the charity on Twitter @nichstweet.

To register for the Hearty Lunch or for an information pack contact NICHS on 028 9032 0184, email [email protected] or visit