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Call for communities in Wales to reclaim “Sunday Lunch” and bring people closer together

Picture credit: Huw John, Cardiff.

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%).

That’s why Eden Project Communities is calling for all of us to reclaim Sunday Lunch and bring it bang up to date as a chance to get together – with who we want, when we want and eating and drinking whatever they fancy.

We can then join millions of others across the UK and sit down to have a different type of Sunday lunch in our community as part of The Big Lunch on Sunday 3rd June 2018, the UK’s biggest annual get together for neighbours. Order your free pack at

Speaking about the research, Lowri Jenkins, Eden Project Wales said:

“We are a really diverse society with lots of different rituals and lifestyles and the traditional Sunday Lunch simply hasn’t kept up. We lead busy lives and these days there seem to be fewer opportunities for us to get together and enjoy the simple pleasures of good food and great company.”

“In a world of catch-up TV, social media and YouTube, it’s easy to connect online and this can lead to less face to face contact with the people around us. The key ingredient of a successful Sunday lunch – just like The Big Lunch – is not actually the day it’s held on, or even what you eat, but simply the chance to get together and share food with people.”

The Big Lunch – an idea from The Eden Project made possible by The National Lottery – will be held this year on Sunday 3 June, aiming to beat last year’s record involvement of 9.3 million people across the UK. The annual event encourages people to get together with others in their neighbourhoods to share food and fun. Research conducted by The Eden Project last year found that 76 per cent of people that joined a Big Lunch felt closer to their neighbours as a result, with 79 per cent socialising more with people in their community*.

Joe Ferns, Director of Funding at the Big Lottery Fund, says:

“Whether two people or two hundred, the act of sitting down together to eat and talk is important for individuals, families and communities. This is why we are supporting the Big Lunch, which provides the perfect opportunity for people to build connections, spark friendships and lay the foundations that enable communities to thrive.”

Join millions of others across the UK and sit down to have lunch with your neighbours as part of The Big Lunch on Sunday 3rd June 2018, the UK’s biggest annual get together for neighbours. Order your free pack at

Rhys Gregory
Editor of

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