The Big Lunch, FareShare and City & Guilds join forces to launch special award celebrating community

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The Big Lunch, surplus food charity FareShare, and skills organisation City & Guilds are joining forces to launch a new Sharing Table Award worth £5,000 to celebrate and recognise the importance of communities sharing friendship, food, skills and resources.

The Big Lunch is an annual celebration of neighbours and communities, with millions of people coming together across the country for a few hours of friendship, food and fun. The award forms part of Eden Project’s campaign to bring people and communities together for the greenest Big Lunch yet on 1-2 June.

Ahead of The Big Lunch weekend, this unique award invites people UK-wide to apply for a specially designed Sharing Table made by the people at City & Guilds, plus funds towards their community projects and ideas, and a hamper of food and resources for a Big Lunch that are together worth £5,000. A further three finalists will each receive a hamper of goodies to support them to have a Big Lunch, and £500 towards their project or idea to support the local community.

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Lindsey Brummitt MVO – Eden Project Programme Director responsible for The Big Lunch said: “We want to shine a light on communities sharing their skills, time, food and resources to make life better for everyone! Sharing is planet friendly and boosts our wellbeing too, so we’re focusing on this amazingly simple and positive action by launching this unique Sharing Table Award as we invite everyone to share friendship, food and fun at the greenest Big Lunch yet on 1-2 June. A sharing table is the perfect place to gather and the funds will help kick start more local sharing activities so the whole community can benefit. Taking part is easy, so why not enter now and sign up for The Big Lunch on 1-2 June at!”

Sharing TablesSharing Tables
Sharing Tables

Applicants for The Big Lunch’s Sharing Table Award must outline how the act of sharing supports their community today and how they hope to share more together in future.

The sharing table design will be based around the needs of the community, whether it is a table with seats where a knit and natter group can share conversation, a workbench for skills sharing or a picnic bench for food sharing outdoors. The winning community will work with City & Guilds to design and make a table from upcycled or reused materials to meet their needs.

Applications open at 09:00am on Wednesday 24 April andclose on 09:00 am on Monday 20 May when entries will be sifted and shortlisted, with a final judging panel making decisions made up of senior representatives from Eden Project, FareShare and City & Guilds. The winner and finalists will be announced on 27 Maywhen hampers will be delivered ahead of The Big Lunch on 1-2 June.

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Kristopher Gibbon-Walsh, Chief Operating Officer at FareShare said: “At FareShare we’re passionate about sharing food and encouraging people to eat together. We’re tackling the environmental problem of food waste by making sure good-to-eat surplus food is redistributed to those who need it, with FareShare providing the equivalent of almost a million meals a week. Across the country, FareShare supports 8,500 local groups that are powering good, from school and lunch clubs to refuges and homeless shelters. These groups bring people together to share meals, enjoy a sense of community and access a range of vital support services. We are delighted to be collaborating with The Big Lunch and City and Guilds on the Sharing Table Award and encourage people to enter now at”

Faiza Khan MBE, City & Guilds Director, Corporate Affairs & Foundation said: “At City & Guilds we have helped millions of people build their future careers through shared skills development and we know that sharing skills can change lives, so this project brings lots of things we’re passionate about together. Collaboration, making connections and sharing more is powerful and leads to great things, that’s why we’re delighted to be working with the Eden Project to make the table for the special community who shines out and receives the top Sharing Table Award. We can’t wait to see the amazing community stories pour in – join in and register your community at!”

The Big Lunch is the UKs largest get-together for neighbours and communities, bringing millions of people together to share friendship, food and fun on the first weekend in June every year. An idea from the Eden Project that is made possible by the National Lottery, since 2010 we’ve been bringing people together to create happier and healthier communities thanks to National Lottery players, who raise £30 million each week for good causes across the UK.

TV Chef Ainsley Harriott MBE, Big Lunch Ambassador who gained his City & Guilds catering skills at Westminster Kingsway College said: “The Big Lunch is all about the fun of bringing people together, sharing food, making new connections and building stronger communities. So this June, why not get together with your neighbours to share some fun, food and friendship? This year Eden Project Communities is encouraging people to do their bit for the environment and to make their Big Lunch events even ‘greener’. Their free downloadable packs are full of brilliant, easy ideas to make your Big Lunch bigger and greener than ever. You can download an organisers pack and find everything you need to get the party started at So save the date to join in on 1-2 June."

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Every year communities come together for The Big Lunch and help reduce loneliness, increase belonging and raise millions in funding for community causes. In 2022 and 2023 The Big Lunch became an official part of National celebrations with over 30 million people coming out to share food in a nationwide act of community friendship as part of The Big Jubilee Lunch and the Coronation Big Lunch and over £35m was raised for charity.

The Big Lunch is supported by our patron HM The Queen, and ambassadors including Ainsley Harriott MBE and Dame Prue Leith. The Sharing Table Awards form part of The Big Lunch 2024 campaign, to apply and for full T&C’s go to

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