HUNDREDS of people gathered in the sunshine yesterday for the annual Big Lunch.
St Mary’s Church in Fratton Road, and the John Pounds Centre in Queen Street, Portsmouth, both played host to events yesterday.
The day encourages neighbours to spend the afternoon together while enjoying food and other activities.
Fratton Big Local put together a community picnic in the churchyard of St Mary’s.
Along with a bouncy castle and music from Portsmouth City Band, visitors had free cakes and drinks.
Amy Gordon went along with her daughter Belle Cook and partner Daniel Cook.
She said: ‘We saw the event on Facebook and we thought it would be nice to come down. It is a good idea to bring the community together.’
And Father Bob, from St Mary’s agreed.
He said: ‘It is very important to hold these events so people can get to know their neighbours.
‘Portsmouth has a good community feel to it anyway but it is nice to bring people together.’
Organiser Stuart Mills said: ‘At Fratton Big Local, we were looking to make improvements to the Fratton area and it is a local project run by local people.
‘The Big Lunch event was really just an opportunity for people to have fun and for us to bring the community together.
‘People brought along their own picnics and it was been a really great community event.’
Asda in Fratton provided the free cakes and free tea. Local charity Victory Hants set up a miniature football pitch.
At the John Pounds Centre, families gathered to try new cuisine and cook healthy alternatives to cakes.
They also bought their own picnics and enjoyed live music.
Maria Mason, volunteer co-ordinator, said: ‘It was a really amazing day and we will be looking to make this an annual event.
It was great seeing people chatting and coming together as a community.’