Over 100 local residents joined in a ‘Big Lunch’ in Middlesbrough

Over 100 residents living around Sunnyside Community Centre in Coulby Newham joined in the national Big Lunch celebrations last Saturday, enjoying an afternoon of food and friendship jointly organised by Thirteen and Ageing Better Middlesbrough.

Big Lunch Sunnyside Community Centre 2

4 Jun 2019

The Big Lunch started in 2009 and is supported by the Eden Project and National Lottery funding. It is designed to inspire people to take a small step that can make a big difference, with millions of people across the UK come together every June to share food, have fun and get to know each other better. 

Phil Irvin, housing support services manager at Thirteen said: “We have a great local community around here and our event aimed to help people forge lasting friendships as well as enjoying a fun and entertaining afternoon. Great things happen when people get together and we hope the Big Lunch also helps those who may be lonely to feel less isolated.”

Michelle Dawson, Programme Manager at Ageing Better Middlesbrough said: "We work hard to try and reduce loneliness by helping people find joy in company and activity. We know that sometimes the very small things, like saying hello to a neighbour and recognising people's faces that live nearby can help people feel like they belong in their community and can help them feel less lonely. We think the Big Lunch is a great way to start doing this."

In 2018, research showed that 4.5million people who went to a Big Lunch made new friends, 4.8 million said they believed The Big Lunch helped people feel less lonely and 5 million said they believe The Big Lunch creates stronger communities.

Local residents enjoyed the lunch, entertainment from vintage singer, Yvonne, and fun activities throughout the afternoon.