Monthly Archives: January 2016

Under The Influence

It’s always a great moment for us when we tell you who will be playing at our next event. This time it’s an even bigger treat as they will be doing a bit more than playing on the night.

Firstly, we’re delighted to announce that Mike Willis, an American country singer will be playing for us @ Community Base on Feb 19th. Mike is originally from Atlanta, Georgia and spent time playing and recording in Nashville, Tennessee, before moving over here. He now makes his home on the south coast and gigs around Brighton. In fact, that’s how we met, when he was playing at The Brunswick. So he’ll now be playing his blend Country and R&B and influenced music for us and we’re sure you won’t be disappointed. You can check out his As I Am EP on Spotify.

We have more news though. Just before Christmas we were invited by Mickey Duke, DJ and founder of local digital radio station 1BrightonFM to do a music based community radio show. We’re big on music at BrightonSoup – it’s why we have bands play – and we really like idea of giving a voice to the people who support us: the local artists that play, the people that pitch, the chefs, contributors and volunteers. So a great idea, we just didn’t know who would host it.

As chance would have it, that’s when we met Mike and an idea grew. He hasn’t hosted a radio show before, but he has such an easy manner (and a great southern accent) that we thought he would do really well. So we struck up a partnership and we’re extra delighted to announce a new radio show on 1BrighonFM:

Under the Influence
with Mike Willis in partnership with BrightonSoup

It’s on every other Thursday afternoon from 1 to 3pm. You can listen online at 1BrightonFM or at TuneIn (or download the TuneIn app). You can also listen in on DAB. Every show Mike will be playing some of his fave music and talking to local artists. BrightonSoup will be there too giving an update on what we’re doing and bringing a guest from our events. We’re really excited to see how the show develops and the opportunity it presents for us. So tune in on Thu 4th Feb at 1pm and enjoy the show.

Now throw in LatestTV, the Sussex University Volunteers Fair and the project submission deadline closing and it’s been a busy few weeks for BrightonSoup. And today’s the day we find out which 4 projects will be pitching @ Community Base in a few weeks.

If you want find out who they are then join us on the 19th. We sold out last time so be sure to get yourself a ticket – especially if you want to hear Mike Willis playing. 🙂

Hope to see you next month!

Team Soup





BrightonSoup on TV 🙂

Nikki and Louise made an appearance on LatestTV News this week being interviewed by Jeff Moody. There was a clip on DetroitSOUP and then some gentle interrogating. Louise and Nikki were nervous beforehand, but they ended up doing really well.

There was a very funny moment when Jeff introduced a video of someone pitching at our event, Georgia Lewis. For those that weren’t there, Georgia was the folk singer at our very first event. And that’s what the video was (you can see it here).

It was funny when it came back to the studio having watched Georgia singing and playing her accordion. They all laughed. They’ve put the interview online, but the error has been edited out. It’s a shame because it was a funny moment and Jeff handled it superbly.

So a big thanks to all at LatestTV News and well done to our brave ladies.

Team Soup

So who can pitch at BrightonSoup?

So what would it be like to come and pitch at a BrightonSoup event?

Well doors open an hour before the pitches start. So people can come in, get a drink, biscuit maybe, look around and find somewhere to sit. We like you to arrive early and put out posters and leaflets about your project for people to check out.

Then we’re ready to start the pitches.


We usually have 4 projects to be pitched. When it’s your turn you stand up and speak for 4 minutes, explaining what your project is and how the money would help. Then answer a few audience questions. There’s no presentation or slides, no tech, we keep it old school: just you talking to people (well you can have a prop or an outfit – we don’t mind it being fun 🙂 )

We offer pitch training if you’re not used to doing something like this. We have some great people to advise and help you figure what to say, picking out the important parts you need to get across – and how best to say it. This training is so handy you’ll find it helping you in others aspect of your life and work.

It takes about 40 minutes for all 4 presenters to finish, then it’s eating and voting time.

Eating & Voting

We will have 4 or 5 delicious soups prepared for us by local chefs, mostly gluten free vegetarian/vegan and a selection of breads, cakes and other tasty items that people have brought along. So now it’s time to get some food and mingle. It may sound daunting, but this isn’t a room full of hard-faced investors, these are really friendly people who came along because they want to get involved and help. They paid the £4 entry donation knowing it’s going to do some good.

Some people will come looking for you anyway. They may have questions or want to offer you help – materials or skills, offers of training or volunteers. You’re connecting with people, getting your idea out there and you’re surrounded by people wanting to get involved. It’s not all about the money.

After ¾ hour or so depending on how busy it is, we close the vote.


Then it’s time to count votes and money. It may be nail-biting time for you, but we hope to pass the time with our raffle draw and some great musical entertainment provided by local artists. After about 20 minutes or so we get a quick update from a previous winner. The we announce the night’s winner.

It can be a fun evening, where you get a chance to meet interesting people who may be able to help you with your project. We can’t promise you’ll win, but we believe you will find it a genuinely rewarding experience.

So who can pitch?

Anyone! That’s the great thing about it. You don’t have to be part of an organisation or business. You don’t need a “business plan” or anything formal. The only condition is that it has to be something charitable that will benefit the communities of Brighton & Hove.

So it can just be you with a really great idea that you want to get started, asking for money and help. You talk about it to a group of eager people, and if you’re idea gets enough of them interested – you just might get them to back you.

How cool is that?

You still have time to submit.

Team Soup

Now that was 2015

Happy New Year everyone!

2015 was a great year for BrightonSoup, our very first, so we thought we’d share our calendar year in numbers:

  • We held 3 Soups in 3 venues in Portslade, Hangleton and central Brighton.
  • We donations from 4 supermarkets and a staggering amount of raffle contributions from local business.
  • 5 local chefs prepared a selection of 15 delicious soups, 13 of them were vegan – the soups 🙂 – and all were gluten free. We also had 5 very large pizzas and lashings of other yummy stuff that people brought along, for too much to actually count.
  • 5 talented musicians entertained us with original music, traditional folk songs and some great Beatles covers – using guitars, a double bass, a flute and a lovely accordion.
  • We had 13 people pitch 11 projects and ultimately 3 winners who received a £1,308.80 from the tickets paid by the 213 attendees and 1 prize matching donation from an awesome local business.

It was a great year for us and we ended it with a listening to one of the winning projects singing beautiful forgotten Christmas carols at St Bartholomew’s Church in Brighton.


So now we look forward to 2016 and there’s lots to look forward to. Our next soup is going to be at community base on Friday 19th February. But first we have a couple of other events that may be on interest:

Mothers Uncovered pitched at our last event and though they didn’t win they had a lot of love for their SoulFood project. Well on Tue 19th Jan they’re holding a SoulFood Party at the Synergy Centre, Brighton to celebrate all things tasty. It looks to be a lot of fun.

Funding is a big issue for community projects, especially small ones – it’s why we exist. We’ve had a lot of help from people and one of them, Caz o’Kane, is holding a workshop on funding applications advice in central Brighton on Wed 13th Jan. She could be just the help you need.

So, here’s hoping to a great 2016 all round, with lots more souping and fun and people getting together to make good things happen!

Team Soup