Clanmil’s Big Picnic events proves a great success
25 May 2018
Clanmil Housing Association held a number of Big Picnics throughout schemes across Northern Ireland during the first week of June as part of the Eden Project’s annual Big Lunch initiative.
People living at Independent Living and Supported Housing schemes in Portrush, Coalisland, Newtownstewart, Cookstown, Belfast, Lisburn, and Londonderry hosted the picnics along with friends and family to enjoy some good weather, food, friendship and fun. Spirits were high at the schemes which featured attractions such as photo booths, crafts, music and interactive circus performers.
The Big Lunch, made possible by the National Lottery, has been running since 2009 and is the brainwave of the Eden Project, a social enterprise that aims to improve the happiness and wellbeing of people across the UK by helping build more resilient and better connected communities.
Janet McCloskey, who lives at Abercorn Court in Portrush, said she had a brilliant day:
“Our Big Picnic was excellent. It was great to see everyone getting together and having a good time and there was such a feel good factor all day. Events like this really strengthen the community and I’m already looking forward to next year.”
Tim O’Malley, Clanmil’s Community Development Manager said:
“The idea behind The Big Lunch is that great things happen when you bring people together. We hope that bringing our tenants and their friends and families together over food, to share conversation and build lasting bonds, will help increase the sense of pride and belonging in where they live, helping to creating connections and inspiring them to make a positive difference in their local area - all of which will help make the community stronger and happier.”
Grainne McCloskey NI Manager – Eden Project Communities
“We are delighted Clanmil brought The Big Lunch idea to their neighbourhoods across Northern Ireland as part of their investment in strengthening communities.
This simple idea from the Eden project made possible by National Lottery invites neighbours to get to know each other better. We know that kindness and good neighbourly relations can make a massive difference to the epidemic of loneliness and all it takes is for a few friendly people to start the ball rolling by inviting neighbours to join them in a Big Lunch.”