Clanmil Housing Association held a Big Picnic on May 31 at Abercorn Court in Portrush as part of the Eden Project’s annual Big Lunch initiative.
People living at Clanmil’s Cramsie Court, Hezlet Court and Glenshesk Court independent living housing schemes in Ballymoney, Coleraine and Ballycastle made their way to Abercorn Court in Portrush along with friends and family to enjoy food, friendship and fun.
A photo booth, crafts, music, dressing up in clothes from times gone by and a candy cart were just some of the attractions on offer. Food and supplies were kindly provided by EuroSpar at Hillcrest, Etherson’s Butchers and Johnathan Clarke of Holestone.
The Big Lunch, made possible by the National Lottery, has been running since 2009 and is the brainwave of the Eden Project, a social enterprise that aims to improve the happiness and wellbeing of people across the UK by helping build more resilient and better connected communities.
People living in Clanmil’s homes throughout Northern Ireland will be taking part in a total of eight Big Clanmil Picnics throughout June, joining the millions of people across the UK set to enjoy Big Lunch events.
Janet McCloskey who lives at Abercorn Court said she had a brilliant day: “Today was excellent. It was great to see everyone getting together and having a good time and there’s been such a feel good factor all day. Events like this really strengthens the community and I’m already looking forward to next year.”
Tim O’Malley, Clanmil’s Community Development Manager said: “The idea behind The Big Lunch is that great things happen when you bring people together. We hope that bringing our tenants and their friends and families together over food, to share conversation and build lasting bonds, will help increase the sense of pride and belonging in where they live, helping to creating connections and inspiring them to make a positive difference in their local area - all of which will help make the community stronger and happier.”
Grainne McCloskey NI Manager – Eden Project Communities said: “We are delighted Clanmil are bringing The Big Lunch idea to their neighbourhoods across Northern Ireland as part of their investment in strengthening communities.”