posted on May 28th, 2019

Big Lunch weekend in South Belfast

People are coming out of the house to reconnect with their community.

  • 1 in 5 of us has NEVER spoken to our neighbours
  • 1 in 5 of us don’t feel we could call on ANYONE in our neighbourhood for help
  • Almost three quarters of us wouldn’t introduce ourselves to a new neighbour or aren’t sure we’d even bother to say hello
  • Over 40% of us don’t know our neighbours’ names
  • Half the population hasn’t chatted with a neighbour in the last month

781 communities across Northern Ireland are putting on a Big Lunch this weekend, including around 63 in South Belfast, to connect up their communities. There is still time to join at

“The results were a big surprise to me,” said Grainne McCloskey, manager of The Big Lunch in Northern Ireland. “We think of Northern Ireland as a friendly place where everyone knows their neighbours, but the research clearly shows that we are becoming more disconnected from people living nearby. We want to invite people in Northern Ireland to have lunch once a year with their neighbours to reverse that trend.”

The Big Lunch, an idea from the Eden Project, made possible by The National Lottery,now attracts millions of people across the UK. Last year 6 million people took part in over 68,500 Big Lunch events. This summer it’s getting even bigger and is being turned into a two-day event, June 1-2.

To commemorate 10 years of The Big Lunch, a major new research report has been commissioned – ‘Hoclose are we to our neighbours and does it matter?