Monthly Archives: June 2015

Our First Soup!

Well no more reminders about getting a ticket, our first ever BrightonSoup event is over. It was held at the South Portslade Community Centre in Church Road, Portslade and shame if you missed it, because it was a great night.

The 4 Project Pitchers

The 4 Project Pitchers

It’s a brave thing to stand up and ask a room full of strangers for help, but the passion for their projects was evident. Paula and Mimi want to create “Knowledge” boxes to help families with newly diagnosed autistic children. Shalina needs visual aids for her talks to kids about the importance of food nutrition and how it affects mental health. Lizzie spoke for an art group for disabled children who need a projector and art supplies. And Ann wants to create a “secret garden” to engage the families of those using the Friday Food bank. 4 great projects and choosing wasn’t going to be easy. They had 5 minutes each to pitch with a few follow up questions before the focus switched from the stage to the room.

DSCF8405The voting was now open and food was being served. And delicious it was too, we were spoilt by our chef donations with 4 soups (3 vegan and all gluten free). In addition many guests brought food and drinks to share with Cous Cous, Focaccia, Cheese Scones, Cakes and more.

We had concerns that people would stay in groups and not mingle, but we shouldn’t have worried. Everybody mixed: whilst getting food and drinks, when voting, or when looking at the project and sponsor displays, everybody was actively discussing the projects and their merits. There was a great community vibe in the room with new connections being made.

Georgia Lewis

Georgia Lewis

At 8:30 we closed the vote and did our raffle. This was important to us as all the door money went to the projects, we had to cover our other costs. So all donations and raffle income was split 50/50 with the projects. The prizes were donated by the wonderful local retailers on Boundary Road and we made enough to boost the project pot and cover all of our costs. They also provided donations, discounts and decorations so the room could look lovely.

Whilst the votes were counted we were treated to the musical talents of Georgia Lewis, a young local folk singer and avid accordionist. She was captivating from the moment she started singing, holding everyone’s attention until the well deserved applause. She sang and played accordion, guitar and recorder. Georgia is normally accompanied by a guitarist and fiddle, but offered to play solo when they others couldn’t make it. And we’re so glad she did – it was one of the many highlights of the evening.

Nikki, Ann, Penny and Will

Nikki, Ann, Penny and Will

Finally, it was time for the results and Nikki had the pleasure of presenting Ann from the Purple People Plot with a cheque for £304.50. North Portslade’s very own Councillor Penny Gilbey was kind enough to join us for the evening, which was fitting as she is a big supporter of community projects.

It was great to see a project getting the pot, but BrightonSoup isn’t just about one project winning money. There were 4 great projects and they’re all deserving of help, financial or otherwise. So whilst what happened on the stage was great, it’s what was happening around the room that matters. The project you voted for may not have won, but that doesn’t stop you walking over to them and offering whatever help you can. It might be money, or a skill to pledge. This happened on the night.

Ann and Barry

Ann and Barry

Barry Hutton, the Head of Studies for Construction at Central Sussex College (Crawley) was in the audience as he lives locally. He was able to offer his students to the Purple People Plot to help build the garden walls they need. And this happened before the winner had even been announced. How great is that? And how fantastic would it be if all the projects left with a little bit more help.

So if you would like to get involved with any of these projects, you want to help out or have some skill to share, then please get in touch with them. Even if you didn’t attend (and shame on you if you didn’t), you can find out all the details on the projects and everyone that helped here.

So a perfect night? No. Things went wrong. We had a very loud and stompy dance class above us and our pa system wasn’t good enough. But we knew things would go wrong, and in the end we don’t think they got in the way of everyone having a great time.

DSCF8105We wanted to see how our first soup went before we committed to another one. I don’t think there is a reason to doubt now. There will be a next one, we just have to decide where and then – and we’ll tell you when we know. But in the meantime, a huge thank you to everyone that helped to make this one a success.

Projects, Chefs & Volunteers



BrightonSoup @ Portslade – 19th June 2015

Our first soup and we think it went really well.

There were 4 projects pitched on the night and Ann from the Purple People Plot won the vote and took £304.50 for their Secret Garden for the Food Bank users. We had some good connections made and skills pledged.

This is the info on the people who pitched, the project that won, those that provided the food, entertainment, decorations, everyone that helped us make it happen:

The Venue

South Portslade Community Centre
Church Road
BN41 1LB

Attendance: 61

Thanks to Siobhan and Brunwin for their help.

The Projects

Thank you to all the projects for being part of our BrightonSoup event. Although we had a winner these projects still need help. So if you can do anything to help, donate, give your time, pledge a skill, then get in touch directly or use our contact form.

1 – Knowledge Box Library

mASCot Knowledge Box LibrarymASCot is a parent led support group for families with a child/children on the Autistic spectrum. We now have over 180 families that we support and we are growing weekly. We arrange many things in mASCot including workshops, coffee mornings, talks, training and therapies and we are always looking to provide new and necessary support for our families.

One of our new projects is our Knowledge Box Library where we provide a box of books, leaflets and information to help parents and children understand Autism better by reading some wonderful books and resources. Telling your child about Autism is a big worry for many parents and we hope we can provide the right information and guidance to make this part of their journey easier.

DSCF8333Presenters: Paula Donovan & Mimi Banks

Sam Bayley
07943 346 055 / 01273 414 609

Facebook: facebook/ascmascot
Twitter: @mascotsupport


2 – A Helping Hand


A Helping Hand helps educate and support young people and their families in the community, women experiencing PND and people recovering from drug and alcohol misuse. The basis of the talks is about nutrition and how it affects the way we feel or as I like to say, food & mood. However things aren’t always as simple as knowing what to eat to feel good, the discussions are broader and cover friendships, self confidence, self esteem, weight concerns and their relationship to food, drugs, alcohol, bullying, peer pressure and difficult home lives.

All these things effect our overall health & wellbeing and young people can need extra support dealing with them. These talks are a great way for them to learn how to take back control of their health, ask questions, be supported and talk openly in a safe environment. The funding will enable me to buy and create educational props to make the learning experience more interactive and visual, to capture different learning styles. DSCF8354

Miss Shalina Sheikh
07990 973 558



3 – Mymarc Community Interest Company


Mymarc is a Community Interest Company that runs Make Your Mark art workshops for disabled young people up to the age of 25 in Brighton and Hove. The workshops are an opportunity for disabled young people to express themselves creatively, experiment and explore a wide-range of media – printing, painting and sculpture as well as getting together and having some fun.

Mymarc also provides volunteering opportunities for local artists and young people. We help them open up new parts of their lives and find new ways to connect to the world around them. We would like the funds to buy a projector and art supplies.

DSCF8388Presenter: Lizzie Batten

Sue Winter 07400 963 087



4 – Purple People Plot (Winner)

purple-people-plotBehind Portslade Town Hall is a secret garden, just waiting for care and attention. With your help we can make it into a very special place for displaced, disengaged, depressed, desperate people to dig their way back to mental and physical fitness. It will be for a sheltered vulnerable group of people who may not have a framework to their day or a purpose in life. Designed to encourage interaction, team work, relaxation and co-operation.

It will enable stressed parents to play and work with their children in a safe and natural environment. Everyone will benefit by enjoying the satisfaction and sense of achievement. An added bonus will be the food we produce, which we will share on site or use in our Food Bank kitchen. We area spin off from the Purple People Kitchen Food Bank which is held at the Portslade Town Hall every Friday, and the Council have allocated the plot to become a community garden. The funding will enable us to buy kids gardening tools for them to be an active part of it.

Ann Menhinick
07789 765 933 / 01273 412 952



Everyone that helped

Soup & Food

These stars provided 4 delicious soups and bread, free of charge, to all of our guests. And Tom and Shona spent the evening at the event helping out.

the-soup-deptTom Chadd @ The Soup Dept
Brocolli & Stilton Soup
Thai Red Curried Lentil Soup

cactusAsh (Chef) & Shona @ The Cactus Cafe (Opening Soon)
Mexican Lentil Bean Soup


Joel & Ian (Chef) @ emmaus Brighton
Leek & Potato Soup

A special mention to Hilary & Richard for the allotment veg that went into the soups. And to all the guests that brought food and drink of their own to share.


DSCF8465The delightful Georgia Lewis, a young local folk singer and avid accordionist offered to play solo when the rest of her band couldn’t make it.

And a special mention to Paul & Helen @ OnRequest for loan of the the mike stand.

The Boundary Road Souper-Stars!

Helping to fund the night and everything that made us look good, from balloons and table decorations, to some great raffle prizes, these are the local business that helped us out and you can find most of them on the Facebook Buzz on Boundary page.

Angel @ Angel Art
Nima @ Best Wishes
Mike @ Sparkles
Sally @ Tesco Boundary Road
George @ George’s Gems
Debbie @ Sweet Treats
Shaadi @ Hair Station
Douglas @ The Coffee Station
Faye @ Phase Photography
Gail @ Fairydust Flowers

And it wasn’t just boundary road;

Emma @ Sainsburys West Hove
Alan @ in Southwick
All @ Stock in Trade Ltd in London

The Volunteers

The Project Committee: Scott, Peter, Michael, Charlie & Angel.

Donna for putting up posters and handing out leaflets, Julian for offering free business and patent advice to our projects and Alex for offering coaching help to the projects.

And finally all those that helped on the night setting up, checking people in, serving food, doing the raffle, taking photos and making sure it didn’t all go horribly wrong: Alex, Angel, Carol, Charlie, Karin, Michael, Peter, Scott, Shona, Steph (x2) & Tom,

Karin, Georgia, Nikki, Scott, Angel, Tom, Peter, Will, Charlie, Steph, Michael, Shona, Hilary

A big thanks to everyone for getting involved!

Read our review, see photos or watch Georgia singing.

Will & Nikki Anjos

The Bright Side

We could focus on the negatives (damn technology), but it’s too lovely a day for that so let’s look on the bright side.

We’re as ready as we will ever be for our first BrightonSoup later this evening. All the prep has been done and we just have a few last minute collections from our lovely sponsors to do. The chefs are firing up their hobs and brandishing their ladles. The volunteers are loading up and bickering about what that their name badges should say.I think we’re ready.

We still have some online tickets left and a few we’re holding back for the door, but get in there quick as you don’t want to miss out.

Hope you can make it. 🙂

Team Soup

Life gets in the way sometimes

If everybody that has told us they’re definitely coming next Friday does, then we will be packed. But not everybody that says so will turn up. Things happen, life gets in the way sometimes, even with the best of intentions. So we really have no idea how busy it will be. The only thing we can say with some certainty is that if you really want to be sure you can get in, get a ticket.

Team Soup

4 become 5

Our project committee decided the final projects. Yay! But they asked if we could host five projects instead of four. Not what we expected, though understandable – there are some really good projects here. So what do we do?

Well in future  we’d like to invite previous winners back to talk about their project and how it’s going. Not possible on our first event though, so why not have another project? It’s our first event, the more the merrier, and hey what the hey. So 4 become 5!

Just one more reason to be there on the 19th.

Team Soup

Good to Go

A quick update.

First we’ve got to mention Buzz on Boundary. We posted up for help and had immediate offers from Purnima @ Best Wishes and Sally @ Tesco. It’s a great little online community with all the shops helping each other and giving out special offers. Worth checking out.

This weekend emmaus Brighton offered to make soup for us! We already have soup contributors (thanks Tom and Ash), but now, even with a full house (and we’re hoping to get one) nobody’s going hungry. If that wasn’t enough, Joel, the manager, offered emmaus Brighton as a venue for a future event. How great is that! If you haven’t been to emmaus do, it’s more than a huge charity shop: it’s got a great cafe, outside seating, grounds to explore, places to chill and relax, friendly people and a really nice vibe running through it. A beautiful place to spend time on a summer evening. Eating soup 🙂

We also had Emma @ Sainsburys West Hove helping us and Hilary arranging for allotment vegetables. That and with the goodies people are bringing with them, we really are sorted for food. In fact we’re pretty much good to go with food, drink & entertainment. Now time to decide on the projects. So we finished the week meeting Proposers (Entrepreneurs? Pitchers? What do we call them? Suggestions?). Really nice people with great projects and more to meet with this week. We’re closing for submissions soon, but still time if you’re interested – Just be quick!

Not everyone gets a mention, but a big thanks to everyone helping us out.

Team Soup