The Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch

Thursday 30th March 2023

Get your tickets for the city's hottest event - raising funds to meet the current urgent need to support veterans of HM Armed Forces into employment

From the outset we have had four core purposes for the Lord Mayor's Big Curry Lunch. Over time the emphasis of our fundraising has developed and in recent years we have placed a strong emphasis on helping veterans into employment in the civilian world. Now in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, our focus on 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 guests 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 work 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 November 2021, we have contributed a total of over £2.5 million to help support all members of the Armed Forces who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

From 2019 onwards 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 two programmes to help veterans in to work.
For further information on the history of the Lunch, please take a look at our brochure here 

From the April 2019 Lunch, part of the proceeds will fund veterans of His Majesty’s Armed Forces to be able to take part in the Pain Management Programme (PMP) at the King Edward VII Hospital's (KEVII) new Centre for Veterans’ Health (CVH).

CVH's 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 prevents 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 one veteran through the PMP.  In 2023 we hope to fund 16 veterans through the PMP.

Lifeworks’ sole focus is to find employment, education, and training for veterans from all the Services and their families.

This support service offers practical advice, guidance, and support regardless of the length of service and is available nationwide, wherever veterans live.

The Lifeworks team is made up of highly experienced career coaches and vocational assessors who work across the UK.

*They help veterans identify their strengths and help decide on potential career and training opportunities.

*They help veterans develop the skills they need to job search and write a cv.

*They build confidence by helping veterans manage the impact of a major change in situation after leaving the Armed Forces.

*They enable veterans to approach working in the civilian workplace with increased confidence and motivation.

ABF the Soldiers’ Charity has worked with Lifeworks for some years and is confident as to the quality and effectiveness of the service provided.

Each course run by Lifeworks costs £1,500 but is always free of charge to the veterans taking part. This means that Lifeworks is entirely dependent on public donations and grants from charities and trusts.

The Co-Chairmen and the Committee of the Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch are of the view that Lifeworks dovetails well with our support for the Pain Management Programme which we have supported since 2019, adding another dimension to our work of helping veterans into sustainable employment.

Through the 2023 Lunch, we hope to fund 65 veterans through a Lifeworks course.

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 20 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 and Sheriff Nicholas Lyons

Mr Michael Hockney

Vice Patrons

Sir David Lewis
Mr Ian Luder
Mr Nick Anstee
Sir Michael Bear
Alderman Sir David Wootton
Dame Fiona Woolf

Sir Alan Yarrow
The Lord Mountevans
Alderman Sir Andrew Parmley
Alderman Sir Charles Bowman
Alderman Sir Peter Estlin
Alderman Sir William Russell
Alderman Vincent Keaveny

2023 Committee Members 

The Lady Mayoress Felicity Lyons
Alderman Alastair King
Mr Andrew Marsden
Ms Corinne Lee
Mrs Marian Gamble
Mr Jeremy Archer
Mr Azad Ayub
Mr John Barradell
Mr Adrian Bastow
Lady Bathurst
Mrs Karen Beadle
Mr Edward Berry
Brigadier Greville Bibby
The Lady Bilimoria
Mr Sean Bonnington 
Mr Michael Bradly-Russell
Dr Trevor Brignall
Mrs Joanna Cadman
Mr Jim Cook
Mr Peter Cooper
Sir Michael Craig-Cooper
Colonel Jane Davis
Mr Vladislav Dobrokhotov
Alderman Emma Edham
Lady Caroline Everard
Mr Stephen Fenton
Mr Christopher Freeman
Mrs Susie Freeman 
Lady Lucy French
Dr Matthew Gaved
Mr Sean Gavin
Mr John Gilbert
Mr Andrew Gordon
Alderman Alison Gowman
Alderman Prem Goyal
The Hon Elizabeth Green
Brigadier Tim Gregson
Alderman Timothy Hailes
Mr Chris Hayward
Mr James Heappey MP
Mr Paul Herbage
Mr Stan Hodges
Alderman Robert Howard
Alderman Robert Hughes-Penney
Alderman Gregory Jones
Her Honour Wendy Joseph KC 
Mr Jeff Kelly
Lady Mohini Kent Noon
Mr Vaughan Kent-Payne
Miss Mei Sim Lai
Alderman Susan Langley
Lieutenant General David Leakey
Commander Mark Leaning
Captain Julian Litchfield 
Mr Edward Lord
Mrs Susannah Lovis
Alderman Professor Michael Mainelli
Mr Simon Martin
Alderman Bronek Masojada
The Rt Reverend and Rt Hon Dame Sarah Mullally
Mr Lawson Muncaster
Sir Kenneth Olisa
Lieutenant Commander Sarah Pearce
Mr Denis Petropoulos
Mr Paul Pinchbeck
Lord Howard of Rising
Major General Sir Sebastian Roberts
Mr Paul Rochford
Mr Ian Rodger
Ms Victoria Russell
Prof John Schofield
Mr Christopher Seow
Mrs Annie Shepperd
Mr Alex Spofforth
Ms Laura Taylor
Mr Cyrus Todiwala
Very Rev'd Andrew Tremlett
Mr Shai Umradia
Mr Andrew Vaughan
Lieutenant Colonel Michael Vernon
Mr Adrian Waddingham
The Rt Hon Ben Wallace MP
Mr Christopher Walton
Ms Vicki Wentwoth
Mr Philip Woodhouse