Street party-style event shows community spirit is thriving in Dyke House area of Hartlepool

The fun spills out into the street as Dyke House residents take part in The Big Lunch
The fun spills out into the street as Dyke House residents take part in The Big Lunch

RESIDENTS enjoyed some good old-fashioned community spirit during a street party-style event.

More than 50 people from the Dyke House area of Hartlepool sat down with neighbours as part of the Big Lunch.

Residents joined an estimated four million people across the whole of the UK for the Big Lunch.

The initiative, funded by the Big Lottery Fund and led by the Eden Project, encourages people across the UK to have lunch with their neighbours once a year, for a few hours of community, friendship and fun.

The simple act of chatting to neighbours can make a real difference in communities and can help tackle isolation, say organisers behind the campaign.

Teresa Driver, youth and community services co-ordinator at The Wharton Trust organised the Dyke House Big Lunch.

She said: “We couldn’t believe how many people came over to share lunch with us here in the Annexe.

“We had so many people inside that we spilled over into the street and held an impromptu street party.

“It was a good job it was sunny at the time.

“We at the Wharton Trust believe that through getting to know each other, people can organise themselves and help each other out.

“It was great to see neighbours spending time with each other.

“We obviously want to thank all our volunteers who gave their time to help prepare the food and Joanne Tweddle, the community life champion at Asda, in Hartlepool, who donated resources and her time to help make it such a success.

“We really couldn’t have done it without them.”

Sir Tim Smit, co-founder of The Big Lunch, said: “Year after year, I never fail to be impressed by the sheer number of people who get involved and take the time to hold a 
Big Lunch in their community.

“The Big Lunch is always a great success and the perfect excuse for people to get together.

“While on the surface, it’s a day of laughter, friendship and fun, if you look deeper than that, these get-togethers are having an enormously positive impact on communities.”

“Big things come from Big Lunches and what they each have in common is they all start in the same way – with small talk.”

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