Lisburn locals encouraged to sow seeds of friendship

New statistics reveal 22 per cent of Northern Ireland locals are worried about social interaction post-lockdown.

Tuesday, 11th May 2021, 11:20 am
Mental Health Awareness Week

As Mental Health Awareness Week continues, The Big Lunch is encouraging people across the Lisburn area to sow seeds of friendship with The Big Lunch.

The Big Lunch will be focused not on the larger events we are used to but instead helping encourage individuals to make connections crucial to help reduce feelings of isolation and nervousness as we return to community activity as lockdown restrictions gradually begin to ease.

The Big Lunch, an idea from the Eden Project, partnered by The National Lottery and supported by Iceland Foods, kicks off on 5 June and is running throughout the month to allow people to join in however and whenever works for you.

Connection is crucial for communities; it ensures that people around us are not feeling isolated or lonely and it helps to nurture relationships.

However, the ability to meet with others for the first time in months and the increased social interaction may take some getting used to.

New research by The Eden Project Big Lunch in Northern Ireland reveal that 22 per cent of people in Northern Ireland are worried about their ability to re-adjust to normal levels of social interaction again.

Grainne McCloskey, Northern Ireland Manager, The Big Lunch, says: ‘‘We are asking people in Lisburn to participate in The Big Lunch with acts of friendship this June.

‘‘We can all play a part in easing out of lockdown safely, supporting our neighbours and reaching out to help rebuild community connections which will help ease loneliness and isolation.

‘‘If everyone was to carry out one act of friendship where we live, whether that is to invite a few neighbours to lunch in the garden or park, organise something as a community group or to use your lunch break for acts of kindness and friendship, we could make all the difference to those around us.

‘‘We are already identifying the negative mental health impact of lockdown, but are we all taking steps to support each other?

‘‘We would love to see people growing their connections and we have some lovely free cornflower seed packs available to grow and share locally with neighbours.’’

This year, the theme of Mental Health Awareness Week centres around connecting with nature.

The official site for Mental Health Awareness advises that: ‘‘There’s a lot of good research to support the role nature can play in protecting and supporting our mental health.’’

The Big Lunch, an idea from the Eden Project, partnered by The National Lottery and supported by Iceland Foods, kicks off on June 5 and is running throughout the month to allow people to join in however and whenever works for you.

The Big Lunch, an idea from the Eden Project, partnered by The National Lottery and supported by Iceland Foods, kicks off on 5 June and is running throughout the month to allow people to join in however and whenever works for you.

Sign up for your free cornflower seeds and information pack at www.thebiglunch.com or Text your name, address and email to 07703189048