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East End families have appetite for UK’s Big Lunch bash

PUBLISHED: 16:07 03 June 2014

Tucking in... neighbours at the Big Lunch at Bethnal Green's Teesdale estate

Tucking in... neighbours at the Big Lunch at Bethnal Green's Teesdale estate

Vernal+0169Beckford

Neighbours in London’s deprived East End had a right chinwag at Sunday’s annual al fresco Big Lunch bash in the sunshine.

A youngster gets all dolled up for the Big Lunch at Bethnal Green's Teesdale estateA youngster gets all dolled up for the Big Lunch at Bethnal Green's Teesdale estate

Families in Bethnal Green and Limehouse sat down for their get-togethers, joining four million others up and down the country.

“The simple act of chatting to neighbours can make a real difference,” said Margaret Cox who organised the Big Lunch at Bethnal Green’s Teesdale and Hollybush estate.

“It helps tackle isolation and really brings the community together—you can’t beat seeing neighbours meeting new people they might not have spoken to before.”

The families had a Turkish band and Turkish and Bollywood dancers as well as children’s face-painting and bouncy castle. Local postman DJ Paul got everyone dancing, the over 50s’ club read poetry and an arts and crafts table was organised.

Meanwhile, families in Limehouse held their Big Lunch on the Brunton Wharf estate, appropriately in their Salmon Lane community food garden which has helped rid the neighbourood of anti-social behaviour.

They brought home-made food from cuisines from all over the world and had entertainment laid on for the kids.

A crew from Poplar fire-station turned up and the youngsters got on with the real business of the day—climbing on board the big red fire-engine.

Brunton Wharf used to have severe youth problems with gangs lurking in the streets before the food garden was opened, which helped turn the neighbourhood into a safe space for families.

The Big Lunch on the first Sunday every June encourages neighbours to get together once a year for community, friendship and fun, paid for by the Big Lottery.

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