Big Virtual Lunch reaching out to connect Age Friendly Banbury


Big Lunch heads online as it hopes to connect older people across the area

An event designed to bring communities together and to connect older people from our area is heading online this weekend after the coronavirus pandemic forced the physical event to be called off.   The organisers of the Big Virtual Lunch are inviting all older people to join in from wherever they will be at the time.

Last year’s first Big Lunch in Banbury was held on a sunny Saturday afternoon in the Market Place during May.   The event has been organised on a national level by The Eden Project since 2009. Locally it is hosted by Visit Banbury Community Interest Company.

Covid-19 restrictions forced the cancellation of this year’s physical Big Lunch events.   However it was felt the concept was needed now more than ever to connect communities and so The Eden Project suggested people run the “Big Virtual Lunch”.

Visit Banbury CIC will be using this year’s event to showcase the Age Friendly Banbury initiative and have vowed to use The Big Lunch to connect the community – especially Banbury’s older people.

Working with Age Friendly Banbury’s partners, a two hour online event is planned including performances and entertainment.   A break for tea and cakes will be included and groups of people will be able to chat to each other using the power of the internet.    Those attending virtually are invited to wear a hat of their own choosing to add to the fun.

The organisers are hoping older people from local groups, care homes, sheltered accommodation and individuals will all be able to join in.

Tim Tarby-Donald, Director of Visit Banbury CIC said, “Whilst we had to quickly change this event to an online version, we knew more than ever how important it is to stay connected to our older residents who have been particularly isolated during the lockdown. We hope this works as if so, we would look to do others in the future.”

Bee Myson, Age Friendly Banbury Co-ordinator said “The Big Virtual Lunch is a creative way to build a sense of community at a time when people can easily feel cut off from their friends and family. This is more acute for those who are shielding and those who are living alone. Significant numbers of older people in particular are not online and are missing out. It is time to work together with partners and take this opportunity to reach people with resources to redress this disparity”.

Banbury’s Big Virtual Lunch will run on Saturday (June 6) between 2 and 4pm.   If you, or someone you know, would like to get involved please email or contact Tim Tarby-Donald on 07885 551487.

For more information about Age Friendly Banbury email

You can listen to our interview with Tim Tarby-Donald from Visit Banbury CIC about the Big Virtual Lunch here:

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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