The Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch

Thursday 18th April 2024

The Lunch has four core purposes. Over time the emphasis of our fundraising has developed and in recent years we have placed a strong emphasis on helping veterans of all the services into sustainable employment in the civilian world. 

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 veterans of all the services, both Regulars and Reservists, 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 His 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 September 2023, we have contributed a total of over £3.3 million to help support all members of the Armed Forces.

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 'History of the Lunch' tab.

From the April 2019 Lunch, part of the proceeds will fund veterans of His Majesty’s Armed Forces 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 2024 we hope to fund 16 veterans through the PMP.

Since 2022 the Curry Lunch has also supported Lifeworks. 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.

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 2024 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 2024 Co-Chairmen

Lord Mayor-Elect Alderman and Professor Michael Mainelli

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 

Alderman Nicholas Lyons

Committee Members

Mr Jeremy Archer
Mr Azad Ayub
Mr Adrian Bastow
Lady Bathurst
Brigadier Greville Bibby
The Lady Bilimoria
Deputy Keith Bottomley
Mr Michael Bradly-Russell
Mr Jim Cook
Mr Peter Cooper
Sir Michael Craig-Cooper
Brigadier Sean Crane
Colonel Jane Davis
Mr Nick Dutt
Mr Vladislav Dobrokhotov
Lady Caroline Everard
Lady Lucy French
Mr Mark Gallagher
Mr Ian Garrett
Colonel (Retd) Peter Germain  
Mr Andrew Gordon Alderman Alison Gowman
The Hon. Elizabeth Green
Brigadier Tim Gregson
Mr Clive Grimley
Alderman Timothy Hailes
Mr Tom Harris
Mr Chris Hayward
Mr Paul Herbage
Mr Stan Hodges Alderman Robert Howard
Alderman Robert Hughes-Penney
Alderman Gregory Jones
Her Honour Wendy Joseph KC
Lady Mohini Kent Noon
Mr Vaughan Kent-Payne
Alderman and Sheriff Alastair King
Miss Mei Sim Lai
Mr Peter Lane
Mr Gary Langley
Alderwoman Dame Susan Langley Lieutenant General David Leakey
Mrs Susannah Lovis
The Hon Richard Lyttelton
HH Judge Richard Marks KC
Sheriff Andrew Marsden
Mr Simon Martin
Alderman Bronek Masojada
Mrs Jane Masojada
The Right Reverend and Right Hon Dame Sarah Mullally
Mr Lawson Muncaster
Sir Kenneth Olisa
Lieutenant Commander Sarah Pearce
Mr Denis Petropoulos
Mr Paul Pinchbeck
The Lord Howard of Rising
Mr Paul Rochford
Mr Christopher Seow
Mrs Annie Shepperd
Mr Alex Spofforth
Mrs Laura Taylor
Mr Bob Tunks
Mr Cyrus Todiwala
The Very Reverend Andrew Tremlett
Mr Andrew Vaughan
Lieutenant Colonel Michael Vernon
Mr Adrian Waddingham
Commodore Mike Walliker
Mrs Vicki Wentworth
Mr Mark Williams
Mr Philip Woodhouse
Alderman Kawsar Zaman