With new research showing that less than half of us (45%) in Wales sit down to Sunday lunch every week, Eden Project Communities is urging local communities to “Reclaim Sunday Lunch” and use it to bring communities close together and tackle loneliness and isolation.
The research also showed that:
- Nearly two thirds (61%) of us in Wales sat down to Sunday lunch more often as a child than we do now
- 16% now have Sunday lunch less than once every two months, while 9% admit to never having Sunday lunch
However, many of us still recognise the benefits of communal eating with two thirds (66%) agreeing Sunday Lunch is about getting together with loved ones. 79% say that the food is the key ingredient for a successful Sunday lunch while 64% say that the people we eat with are key. 43% say that good conversation is critical while 25% say that it needs to be fun.
Getting people together is one of the most effective ways of tackling the growing crisis around loneliness and social isolation. A recent study by The Co-op and the British Red Cross showed over 9 million people in the UK across all adult ages – more than the population of London – are either always or often lonely, and a poll earlier this year highlighted that 83% of us wouldn’t recognise all our neighbours in a police line-up and the majority of us have a stronger sense of belonging to our workplace (60%) than our neighbourhood (48%).
Millions of people across the UK will sit down to have a different type of Sunday lunch as part of The Big Lunch on Sunday 3rd June 2018, the UK’s biggest annual get together for neighbours. You can order your free pack at www.thebiglunch.com
Nicole Burchett from Cardiff is a Big Lunch organiser who has seen the impact of communal eating: “We all know each other a lot better now and have swapped contact details in case we get locked out. It certainly has brought us closer together and I think helped us all trust each other. One elderly neighbour said he’d been living in the square since the sixties and it was the first time he’d experienced anything like it. His son and grandchildren now come too and as he lives alone I think it’s helped, even if it is only once a year.”
The Big Lunch – an idea from The Eden Project made possible by The National Lottery – will be aiming to beat last year’s record involvement of 9.3 million people across the UK.