Local housing estates to host street parties

Alan Hyntes from Rectory CAG, Arlene McKeown and Big Lunch walker Rory Mullan
Alan Hyntes from Rectory CAG, Arlene McKeown and Big Lunch walker Rory Mullan

Four Portadown housing estates are to throw street parties for the community this month.

Killicomaine, Corcrain, Redmanville and Rectory will all be hosting Big Lunches in order to bring neighbours together and build community spirit.

Two intrepid NI volunteers of the Big Lunch have spent the last fortnight walking in towns and villages around NI, meeting with inspirational people who are improving their communities – and they stopped off in Portadown recently.

They were out and about to meet inspirational people in the community ahead of the Big Lunch in coming weeks.

Killicomaine is 13th June at the Jubilee Centre, 12pm to 2pm; Corcrain and Redmanville are hosting a joint one on 21st June at the Corcrain shops, 5pm to 7pm and Rectory Park are having theirs on 22nd June at Regenerate from 1pm to 3pm

Rory Mullan and Patricia Fleming had a walk around the town, knocking on people’s doors to spread the word about the Big Lunch – and even handing out free cupcakes.

They were helped on their way by a raft of local community volunteers, including people from Regenerate and Rectory CAG, and were joined for part of their walk by teachers and pupils from Hart Memorial Primary School.

Patricia said: “It was wonderful to walk around Portadown and meet so many fine people – there is a lot of inspirational work going on, and I’m grateful to The Big Lunch and National Lottery for giving me this opportunity.”

Rory said: “We got a great reception knocking on people’s doors and telling them they still have loads of time to either find out about all the Big Lunches in their area or sign up for one themselves at TheBigLunch.com”

The Big Lunch is an Eden Project, supported by the National Lottery, that began in 2009. It encourages people to spend some time with other people in their local community to try and bring people closer together by sharing food, fun and conversation. A Big Lunch can be anything from a cuppa to a huge spread for the whole neighbourhood.

A Big Lunch-commissioned report revealed public concerns about communities drifting apart. It was based on survey data from 4,000 people across the UK, and found that: One in five people in NI say they know their neighbours

Over half of the UK feel distant from the people they live beside – with one in five people saying they have never spoken to their neighbours.

Check out www.thebiglunch.com