The Big Lunch provides food for thought

Figures show that 72.6 per cent think that the event helps to bring people from different ethnic backgrounds together

AS A community organiser, event coordinator and director of Sneinton Alchemy, Steve Smith knows a thing or two about bringing people together. 

In his role as director of Sneinton Alchemy, a community interest company run by locals seeking to improve their neighbourhood, Steve has organised over a hundred events including music festivals, international food festivals, and parades. 

Keen to unite his diverse community, when Steve first heard about The Big Lunch, an idea from The Eden Project made possible by The National Lottery, he was sold!

It was in 2012, during an event held by The Eden Project, in association with The Cabinet Office when Steve was first introduced to The Big Lunch.

“People coming together over food is as old as time”

Steve Smith

Immediately, Steve saw the value of the initiative. He said: “It was a fantastic idea, all about bringing people together to talk and to celebrate their community”. 

The following year, Steve and his colleagues at Sneinton Alchemy got to work, holding their first-ever Big Lunch.

For Steve, The Big Lunch represents more than just people coming together over food, especially in his own local area.

“Driving through, you’d think that Sneinton is a diverse area. Whilst that’s true, there seems to be a lack in a dialogue between different communities. Through The Big Lunch, we’ve tried to break down those barriers and get people talking”.

According to a report released The Big Lunch in 2019, using the Big Lunch to create a dialogue between communities works.

Figures show that 72.6 per cent think that The Big Lunch helps to bring people from different ethnic backgrounds together.

Most importantly for Steve, the Big Lunch works. He adds: “People coming together over food is as old as time, and we’ve had people tell us how brilliant The Big Lunch was.

“This, and other community projects we’ve run have made a difference to Sneinton – they’re part of a solution”.


The Big Lunch is the UK’s annual celebration for neighbours, an idea from the Eden Project, made possible by the National Lottery.

It started back in 2009 and takes place each year in June. The idea is simple – it’s a day where neighbours and members of communities can stop what they’re doing and come together for the simple act of sharing food, fun and one another’s company.

The Big Lunch are inviting neighbours everywhere to join in on the weekend of June 6-7 when millions of people living locally come together to share food, have fun and get to know each other better. 

To help you get started visit  for your free Big Lunch 2020 Pack, full of top tips and advice plus posters and invitations to help you spread the word.

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