London Borough of Croydon

How the Big Lunch started


The Big Lunch was a very simple idea started in 2009 by the Eden Project. The aim is to get as many of the 64 million people in the UK as possible to have lunch with their neighbours in a simple act of community, friendship and fun, once a year.

The idea grew out of national research showing that people were increasingly feeling isolated from their neighbours and that communities were not developing as they did in the past. Organisers say that while there is a significant minority of communities that are close-knit and act as a beacon for neighbourliness, many of the country's communities are, at best, anonymous.

The Big Lunch 2017

Hundreds gathered for street parties across the borough in celebration of the Big Lunch 2017 over the weekend of Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 June 2017, which also served to remember Jo Cox, MP.

The nationwide annual events brought neighbours and communities together over a shared meal. We would encourage people from all communities to put on street parties in celebration of this.

Organising a Royal Wedding or Big Lunch and street party

We want to support local communities to ensure that everybody enjoys celebrating the Royal wedding or their Big Lunch by throwing a street party Saturday 19 May (Royal Wedding) or Saturday 2 or Sunday 3 June 2018. To aid this, the council has for these special occasions, committed to covering the cost of the Traffic Management Orders (TMOs) required for road closures.

If you are planning to close your road or hold a party in one of the borough's parks or open spaces for the Royal Wedding or Big Lunch, there is certain information that we require and must receive, fully completed, by Friday 20 April 2018 (for Royal Wedding) or Friday 4th May 2018 (for Big Lunch), so you may want to submit applications well in advance of this date (at least a month before is recommended).

You can do this by completing and submitting the online party event form.

This form must only be used for Royal Wedding or Big Lunch Street Party purposes.

With the aim of making it really simple to apply to hold a Royal Wedding / Big Lunch or street party, the council will even cover the costs of closing your road and will provide you with: 

  • road closure signs - saving your street more than £1,000
  • adequate signage will be provided for the closure of your road - saving you up to £150.

All it takes is ten minutes to complete the form or a call to the team of customer services advisers, and the rest will be done for you.

You will just need to say where the event is to be held, when you want to hold it (date, for how long and the time of the day), what sort of facilities will be offered, think about how many volunteers you will need and how early to engage them to help you with

  • organising the event,
  • getting written permission from the land owner, including confirming arrangements re. refuse removal afterwards,
  • advertising locally and informing local residents who may be affected,
  • holding appropriate food hygiene certificates if preparing food,
  • stewarding and clearing up afterwards.

Consideration should be taken if the event is open to the public, if you plan to sell alcohol or food, intend to provide catering from an outside source, then you may also need to

  • apply for relevant licences (including a public events licence),
  • ensure you and anyone providing a service to the event, have public liability insurance, and
  • that any equipment to be used is PAC tested.

If the event is open to vulnerable people i.e. elderly residents and children, you may need to have in place safeguarding policy.

For the answers to frequently asked questions, or a list of available green spaces, see The Big Lunch - Frequently Asked Questions document which can be downloaded below.

In this document you will find out how to:

  • safely stage events
  • arrange road closures
  • arrange the use of land around your estate
  • organise Big Lunches in parks and open spaces.

For further details of last year's events, and for inspiration and advice on setting up lunches, please visit the Big Lunch website, where you can show your support by registering your event.

Downloadable resources

Planning your Big Lunch has never been easier! The Big Lunch website has lots of materials available to download. From editable invites and posters, to toolkits and logos, there should be everything you need.

We will also encourage all to visit ‘The Great Get Together’ .

Help with funding an event

If you are a local authority resident and are considering holding an event on or near one of the council’s housing estates and your group need some help with funding the event (except licences and insurance), you can apply for further information and advice from The Community Development Team;

  • Post: Zone 3B, Bernard Weatherill House, 8 Mint Walk, Croydon CR0 1EA
  • Email:
  • Tel: 020 8726 6100 ext.61567 / 07587 657 544

Stay in touch

Follow the Big Lunch team on twitter or on Facebook.


General enquiries number

020 8726 6000
020 8760 5797


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