12 Jul 2009

Big Lunch in Randwick

I like the idea of the Big Lunch - and great to hear that on Sunday 19th July there will be one in Randwick - gather from 12 noon onwards and share your homegrown/homemade produce - bring own cutlery, plates etc - call Helen Cornish on 759311 for details. I sadly can't make that day but this evening am exploring ideas with some residents for a Bread Street event later in the year.

Photo: Bread Street party last year

Earlier this week - or was it last week I learnt that the Big Lunch is supported by EDF amongst many others - the idea is great - already 6,000 lunches planned and hopes to turn it into an annual event - but disappointing that EDF - a company that is tops for greenwash - has it's name linked to this event - local Ecotricity boss Dale Vince even called for a National Greenwash Day in response to EDF. Anyhow I hope all the events go well....

Community is an essential part of who we are. As social creatures we depend upon community for our spiritual and material well being. Research shows us that our degree of social connection is a crucial factor for our happiness and an important determinant of life chances.

Here is a bit from the LGiU: "But community doesn't only make us feel good; it's also a crucial resource. We live in a world of complex challenges, from climate change to social cohesion, to changing demographics. These challenges can only be met by collaboration, by pooling our creativity and intelligence and responding through collective action. ‘Social capital': the strength and extent of our social ties and our ability to act as a community is the most valuable currency we have. And yet many people feel that there is a crisis of community. Research by the BBC shows that 97% of UK communities have become more fragmented in the last 30 years."

Certainly community is more complex than it once was. Greater freedom of movement and economic independence means that the community we live in is no longer just that of our street, town or village. Communities extend across continents and through cyberspace and we all inhabit multiple communities at once. The Big Lunch is an attempt to re-simplify and re-build community. To go back to basics and get us to sit down and eat together as neighbours and, hopefully, as friends. The impacts of The Big Lunch are immediate: fun, a sense of connection and a spark of community, but if it sows the seed of richer public relationships then its legacy could be much more profound."

"The aim is to give people the tools to strengthen their communities through activities such as neighbourhood-watch; improving local amenities such as youth centres; taking care of the elderly or disabled; making imaginative improvements to the local environment; sharing resources from lawnmowers to cars; and supporting local charities both with money and volunteering time. LGiU will be working with The Big Lunch on research to evaluate some of the social impacts of the project: to assess how effectively it builds connections within the community and provides a platform for ongoing interactions between neighbours."

I meant to also mention The Big Lunch Short Film Competition -0 I came across this when a comment was left on my blog - entries have closed but check out the finalists – the one with the most views on YouTube wins 1k! http://raindance.tv/news/09-07-2009/finalists-announced-big-lunch-short-film-competition

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