The Lord Mayor’s Big Curry

For 2021 not our usual Lunch - instead three months of new virtual events and activities to meet the current and urgent need to fund military veterans through the Pain Management Programme and into employment.

From the outset we have had four core purposes for the Lord Mayor's Big Curry Lunch. Over time as the Lunch has developed so to has the our alignment, in recent years we have had a strong empahasis on helping veteran into the world of work. Now in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic our focus in employment is more important than ever

The Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch (LMBCL) first took place in April 2008, hosted by the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress at Guildhall, the centre of the City of London’s governance, ceremonial and philanthropy.

It would be a Civic and Guildhall event but with a difference; a fixed price allowing guest unlimited curries and accompanying drinks, no seating plan, and everyone would serve themselves – and go back for seconds as often as they wished – and everyone would sit on benches.

The Lunch has had the unstinting support of each Lord Mayor since 2008.

From the outset, the Lunch had a number of purposes.

  • To raise funds to support Soldiers and former Soldiers, both Regulars and Reservists, who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan and their families.
  • To raise awareness in the City community of the role of the Armed Forces of the Crown. Particularly among a younger generation of City folk.
  • To build awareness of the three national service charities that works ceaselessly to support all members of Her Majesty's Armed Forces
  • To emphasise to City workers the breadth and depth of the City’s philanthropy in support of those in society who need help in a variety of ways.

The first Lunch in 2008 attracted 700 guests and raised £143,000. Following its success, the attendance grew year on year to the extent that we use all the principal rooms in Guildhall, generously provided by the Corporation of the City of London without any charge. As of May 2020 we have contributed a total of over £2.3 million to help support all members of the Armed Forces who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

From 2019 onwards - for three years - The Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch has aligned with the employment and employability strand of the Civic and Mayoral strategy ‘A Better City For All’, by providing financial support for veterans to take part in the Pain Management Programme at King Edward VII Hospital’s Centre for Veterans’ Health.

For futher information on the history of the Lunch, please take a look at our brochure here 

For three years, starting with the April 2019 Lunch, the proceeds will fund veterans of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces to be able to take part in the new King Edward VII’s (KEVII) Centre for Veterans’ Health (CVH) Pain Management Programme (PMP).

CVH PMP is unique in that it is designed solely for veterans. The purpose is to address the individual issues, both physical and psychological, involving pain that prevent a veteran from leading a full life. The CVH team has found that chronic pain is the most significant barrier to a veteran being able to find and sustain meaningful employment, which is the ‘backbone’ of their future wellbeing and impacts on every other aspect of their personal lives and their families.

It costs £6,500 to fund the PMP for one veteran.  For each of the three years 2019 to 2021, a contribution of £120,000 from the proceeds of the LMBCL will fund 18 veterans on the PMP.

In contributing to the PMP, 100% of the money raised at successive LMBC Lunches will pay for individual veterans to join and complete the Programme at no cost to themselves. This will still allow the LMBCL to make a significant contribution each year to fund other programmes that support employment and employability and the wider work of the three National Service Charities.

The Lord Mayor and the founder co-chair the LMBCL volunteer Committee.

The Committee meets five times a year and includes:

The wives of senior generals, retired senior officers, government ministers, leading clergy, Aldermen and Sheriffs of the City of London, the Chief Commoner, more than a dozen Livery Masters, Livery Clerks, business and professional leaders in the City and members of the London Lieutenancy, including the Lord Lieutenant and Vice Lord Lieutenant.

The Committee owes a huge debt of gratitude to the Corporation for allowing the Lunch to take place from 2019 onwards without any charges being made, thus helping the Committee to contribute a larger sum each year to support members of the Armed Forces of the Crown and their families in so many different ways.

Lord Mayor's Big Curry Lunch Co-Chairmen

The Rt Hon The Lord Mayor Alderman William Russell

Mr Michael Hockney

Vice Patrons

Sir David Lewis
Alderman Nick Anstee
Sir Michael Bear
Alderman Sir David Wootton
Alderman Sir Roger Gifford
Alderman Dame Fiona Woolf

Alderman Sir Alan Yarrow
Alderman the Lord Mountevans
Alderman Sir Andrew Parmley
Alderman Sir Charles Bowman
Alderman Sir Peter Estlin

Committee Members 

The Lady Mayoress Mrs Hilary Russell

Alderman and Sheriff Professor Michael Mainelli

Sheriff Christopher Hayward

Mr Doug Adam

Mrs Fiona Adler

Mr Jeremy Archer

Dr Heather Barrett-Mold

Mr Adrian Bastow

Brigadier Greville Bibby

The Lady Bilimoria

Lady Bradshaw

Lady Carleton-Smith

Lady Carter

Field Marshal Sir John Chapple

Sir Trevor Chinn

Mr Peter Cooper

Sir Michael Craig-Cooper

Mr Christopher Davey

Colonel Jane Davis

Mr Vladislav Dobrokhotov

Alderman Emma Edham

Lady Everard

Mr Richard Fox

Mr Christopher Freeman

Mrs Susie Freeman

Lady French

Alderman John Garbutt

Mr Sean Gavin

Mrs Clare Ghika

The Baroness Goldie

Mr Andrew Gordon

Alderman Alison Gowman

Alderman Prem Goyal

Alderman David Graves

The Hon. Elizabeth Green

Brigadier Tim Gregson

Mr Ian Grundy

Field Marshal The Lord Guthrie

Alderman Timothy Hailes

Mr James Heappy MP

Mr Paul Herbage

Mr Stan Hodges

Lady Houghton

Alderman Robert Howard

Lord Howard of Rising

Alderman Robert Hughes-Penney

The Very Reverend Dr David Ison

Lady Jackson

Mrs Denise Jones

Alderman Gregory Jones

Alderman Vincent Keaveny

Lady Kent-Noon

Mr Vaughan Kent-Payne

Alderman Alistair King

Miss Mei-Sim Lai

Alderman Susan Langley

Mrs Susannah Lovis

Alderman Nicholas Lyons

Mr Hugh MacDougald

Mr Simon Martin

Alderman Bronek Masojada

Mr Johnny Mercer MP

Mr Brian Mooney

The Right Reverend & Rt Hon. Dame Sarah Elisabeth Mullally

Mr John Nichols

Sir Kenneth Olisa

Mr Tim Orchard

Mr Denis Petropoulos

Mr Jeremy Quin MP

Mr Michael Bradly Russell

Mrs Victoria Russell

The Rt Hon The Baroness Scotland

Ms Annie Shepperd

Mr David Simmons

Mr Nicholas Somers

Mrs Laura Taylor

Mr Cyrus Todiwala

Lieutenant Colonel Michael Vernon

Mr Adrian Waddingham

The Rt Hon Ben Wallace MP

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