Coming out of lockdown is a big deal for many of us. As the Coronavirus lockdown begins to ease, we all face new challenges trying to find our way back into a world beyond the confines enforced by government pandemic restrictions. We may think we are desperate to get back out there and begin to enjoy what we have missed for so long, but we should never underestimate how challenging this process will be for many.

Only today for example, I was talking to a friend who is a manager of a busy coffee shop, he told me that his staff are really nervous about the sudden arrival of lots of customers queuing for their food and drink. It may sound ridiculous but these fears are all real and shouldn’t be dismissed.

Dr Claudia Herbert was recently involved in an article discussing how anxiety can soon follow when the government pandemic protocol becomes unclear. The article affirms the truth that uncertainty can breed anxiety. This is especially relevant as the lockdown measures move from a period of rigid and unambiguous guidelines across the whole of society to a more case by case scenario.

One way to help bring communities together, and perhaps ease some of these anxieties, and to be honest allow us to have a really good time, is THE BIG LUNCH. This is your chance to celebrate community connections and get to know one another a little better.  The big date is 5th and 6th June and you can join in online, on your doorstep, or over the fence.

It might be a little different again, but this year there are more reasons than ever to get together for community, friendship and fun.  You can sign up for your free Big Lunch pack full of tips and ideas on hosting your own event (in whatever way you want to do it) and let’s have something to look forward to!

THE BIG LUNCH has been such a success since it began. Here in Wales the opportunity to further build a connected community in their area was key for the trustees of the Welsh Muslim Cultural Foundation.  In 2018 the Foundation, based in Cardiff decided to share their culture with the wider community to prove what a Big Lunch is really all about.

Omer said……..

‘It’s great to develop connections with other like-minded organisations who believe, as we do, in the importance of building healthy and harmonious communities. We enjoyed inviting people of other faiths and none into our space during Ramadhan and just eating and chatting in a relaxed atmosphere’ He continues, ‘We hope that new friendships will be forged and existing ones strengthened.

We’ve been chatting to TV Presenter and former contestant on The Apprentice, Dancing on Ice and Celebrity Big Brother SAIRA KHAN about a survey that has found more than half of us feel nervous to socialise after lockdown.

SAIRA KHAN
Saira Khan

Despite the difficult times for every one of us during the COVID-19 pandemic, many people feel that there have been some positive things to come out of this time.

Spending more time at home and being more present in our communities has brought with it a heartening wave of community action, seeing neighbours talking and supporting one another far more than ever before. 

The Big Lunch is all about celebrating community connections and getting to know one another a little better – and this year, there are more reasons than ever to get together as The Big Lunch kicks off the Month of Community.

If you’d like more details, find out how to get involved, or indeed download THE BIG LUNCH pack, go HERE.

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