Send an invite to the Gruffalo

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The Gruffalo is coming to Northern Ireland in April – and he could be heading straight in the direction of east Antrim.

The forest-dwelling furry monster is in NI from the 12th to 18th of April and will be stopping at a number of different places across the province, visiting people who are organising Big Lunches later this year.

If you want him to come and see you – and visit a nearby school, youth club or local group, or even come and see children in your street – then applying is easy.

Registering to do a Big Lunch could not be simpler - just go to www.thebiglunch.com for a free starter pack.

You can ask the Gruffalo to visit your area by forwarding your confirmation email to info@thebiglunch.com together with a brief note about why the Gruffalo should visit your chosen space and what you will involve him in.

Now in its eighth year, the Big Lunch is an idea from the Eden Project, made possible by the Big Lottery Fund, which aims to get as many people as possible to have lunch with their neighbours in a simple act of community, friendship and fun.

Big Lunches can be any size – from a gathering of friends in your garden to a large street party with the local community – can have any theme, and can even be a great way to raise money for good causes.

First published in 1999 The Gruffalo is the much loved character from bestselling books written by Julia Donaldson.

He is being brought to Northern Ireland with help from Magic Light Pictures, which produced two award -winning half hour animated films, The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child.

Grainne McCloskey, NI Manager for The Big Lunch, said: “The Big Lunch is delighted to bring the Gruffalo here again. Last year children in a number of places got to meet the much-loved monster

and he was hugely popular. If you want him to come and visit your town then please, get involved.”

Joanne McDowell, Northern Ireland Director of The Big Lottery Fund, said: “We are delighted to continue our sponsorship of The Big Lunch. It has had a really positive impact on communities across Northern Ireland and we are looking forward to seeing the difference it will make to people once again.”