Well what a fun evening that was! A beautiful venue – made even more glorious by the late evening spring sunshine (yeah, it was probably designed to be like that) – with great food, music and company – a real community spirit.
We know it was it a few weeks ago now (we’ve had a little break), but for those that didn’t make it we’d like to share…
One Church, Gloucester Road is a big venue – not without challenges for the team – but we ended up perfectly laid out within this beautiful old church in the heart of Brighton. And it turned out to be to be a very hot night.
We started with a few opening words from Eugenie Teasley, CEO of The Goodall Foundation and the energy behind Any Other Business Brighton, a group of people and organizations that spent the week showcasing the progressive social character of our diverse, vibrant, colourful city. It seemed fitting as this was the last event of the AOB week.
And then we were off with the pitches…
First Lucy McGrath & Sonia Mangan spoke about their Caritas Meal at All Saints Church, a monthly Sunday meal for people who are homeless, vulnerably housed or on the periphery of Society. Jenny Skelton pitched for the first ever Disability Pride Brighton event. Laura Harling was pitching for Found In Translation, a theatrical project that actively involves and engages those living with dementia. And Mary-Anne Weaver spoke of teaching young people to develop and practice manicuring skills as a way of tackling youth engagement and isolation.
You can get details on all the projects here.
Pitches over it was voting and feasting time – and it was a real foodie night. So many people brought food to share (very well received :)) and for the first time all 6 of our delicious soups were gluten free! And as always with vegetarian/vegan options. All courtesy of our Souper Chefs: Tom Chadd, Sam Redfern, Lizzie Batten, Joe Gray and newcomers Ros Morris and Team Soup member, Martin Pritchard. Thanks!
It was such a hot night someone asked if we had a gazpacho!
We also had a super delivery of 10 delicious Papa John’s Pizzas, a company that has given us much support over the last two years. If that wasn’t enough food focus we had more in the raffle with prizes from Nandos, GBK, MOD Pizza, Big Beach Café, Pottery Café and more.
There was even real coffee instead of the usual instant stuff, a first for BrightonSoup. This was kindly provided by Ben and Donna from Pro Baristas. We weren’t sure how many people would ask for coffee in the evening, but it was so delicious and in so much demand that we just couldn’t make it fast enough!
We had a fantastic raffle with some great prizes, raising £243 for BrightonSoup, thank you so much everyone!. We’d like to ask the lucky winners if they could post photos of them using their prizes up on our facebook page so we could tag the contributors as a thank you. Although one of the prizes was some of Ayten Gasson’s Luxury Silk Lingerie so maybe in this instance just a thank you would do :).
When it’s time to count votes, it’s also music time – and for the first time at soup we had a band! The superb 4 piece Scandomando blew away the post-feasting slump with a blast of upbeat punk folk renditions of some classic songs. ‘Wanna Be LIke You’ got some soupers on their feet and dancing – don’t recall seeing that at soup before. One of our guests filmed them performing ‘Word Up’ and you can check that out here.
We had Rohan and Chloe from the Brighton & Hove Speak Out team return – winners of our Community Base event back in December – to give us an update on their film project. As a special treat we were able to debut the completed film to our guests – how cool was that! Another first for soupers, to see the end result of something they voted and put funds towards. Okay, there was a little technical delay, but a few jokes filled the time (bat joke anyone?). They had the film certificated as it will be screening at the Duke of York’s Cinema all next week before the showing of Churchill. If you can’t wait for that you can see the film here.
Finally it was time for the winner, and it was Jenny pitching that took the vote and the £505.70 in tickets and donations for Disability Pride Brighton. If you want to attend it’s being held next month on 9th July at New Road, Brighton..
As an AOB special we also had £500 of match funding graciously donated by Chris Llewellyn on behalf of The CriSeren Foundation. £200 of this went to Disability Pride bringing the winning funds to £705.70. The balance of £300 was split equally amongst the other projects. So everybody got a little funding this evening!
Finally, after many thanks you’s, goodbyes and lots of help clearing up, it was time to go out into the very warm night and head home – or onwards if you were so inclined. Or young :).
We hope you enjoyed yourselves, feasted deliciously, chatted to lovely people doing great things in your community, maybe got involved yourself, made new friends, tapped your feet to the delightful music and maybe even danced a little. Not a bad way to spend a hot Friday night in May.
Thanks for coming!
Our next event is at BHASVIC on Friday 21st July and you can get tickets here.