The big power of small talk

13 June 2014

Written by: Campaigns team

Arts, culture and events - Health and Wellbeing - News and announcements

Small talk in communities can be a lifeline for many people and we’re calling on everyone in Lambeth to boost the conversations happening in their streets and gardens this summer.

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Research carried out with 2,000 adults by The Big Lunch – the UK’s annual get together for neighbours – found that, despite small talk with neighbours not coming naturally for almost half of those questioned, two-thirds of people said it makes them feel happier. However 73% of those in London who do make small talk claim that a simple conversation with a neighbour makes them feel more in touch with the rest of their community.

Words of wisdom
With this in mind, The Big Lunch visited Loughborough Primary School in Brixton to find out why initiating social interaction is second nature to children. The pupils were asked if they had any words of wisdom on how easy it can be to make friends that they could share with the people of Lambeth. The school children gave some fantastic yet simple tips such as asking the other person’s name, sharing food or introducing them to your family or friends.

Free Big Lunch packs
Many neighbours in Lambeth have already held Big Lunch events in their communities this year. Big Lunch events took place on Sunday 1 June on Josephine Avenue, in Angell Town, on Edithna Street and also in Brixton Village.

But just because the main Big Lunch day has passed doesn’t mean you’ve missed your chance to host a Big Lunch event. Free Big Lunch packs are still available from to help you get your events off the ground. Materials are undated so communities can organise their Big Lunches on any days they like.

What are your favourite small talk or stop-and-chat techniques? Tell us about your Big Lunch experiences this summer?