Belfast Telegraph

My Inspiration: Grainne McCloskey

Taking a break from governmental work provided the ideal opportunity to getting tucked in to promoting The Big Lunch

I spent years working in Government Communications in Whitehall, where I found all the red tape very challenging and often wished I could get back to grass roots.

Working in London, I balanced the bureaucracy of central government with volunteering in the local school.

Last year the school took part in The Big Lunch, a one-day get together for neighbours. It's a simple idea from the Eden Project which is supported by The Big Lottery Fund, to build sustainable communities through the act of sitting down with neighbours for food and conversation. The hints and tips on The Big Lunch website made it easy to organise, we had a great time and parents got a chance to get to know each other, organising car pools and play days. It made a huge difference in strengthening the community.

Moving home, I spotted an opportunity to work for The Big Lunch, promoting it to communities across Northern Ireland. So I decided to take a break from government and now I'm out meeting amazingly passionate local people working in their communities, sharing in their stories and encouraging them to join The Big Lunch on Sunday, June 5.

It's simple and anyone can get involved just visit to find out more and receive a free starter pack. Word is spreading now, with more people joining every day but we are keen to get as many people involved as possible, to make this year's Big Lunch the biggest ever.

I'm used to talking to directors of huge organisations every day, but I still felt nervous knocking on doors on my own street to ask people to join in, but it's worth it.

Now we're planning a great day, as are a million other people in the UK this June. Remember mighty oaks from little acorns grow so if you join you will make a difference too.

Belfast Telegraph

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