Author Archives: Stephanie Anjos

Souper times – what a year ! Reflections of a Business Connector

This last year we’ve had the pleasure of working with Mike Wardill, our local Business Connector with Business in the Community. Mike’s been a great soup supporter helping us and introducing us to some lovely  people in our city. His secondment is over so we invited him to tell us about his year:

“My year is nearly up as a Business Connector with BITC and so very different from my role in my seconding organisation Lloyds Banking Group.  

I have met some truly great people over the past year and a common theme amongst those people is a passion for the community and getting things done ! Will and Karin are two such people who I met early on in my year after I saw posters around Kemp Town for BrightonSoup at St Georges.

Caz O’Kane introduced me (a long time supporter with kids in tow at all of the Soups !) and was taken with the great concept to come out of Detroit USA. How simple it is and makes such a difference…

In this role I have met lots of people from both the business and the community world and during the course of my secondment when an opportunity came up; I connected these organisations, business to business, business to community and community to community. ‘How can I help ?’ I asked Will and KarIn.

‘We would love to have a Soup over in Moulsecoomb, a part of the City we haven’t been to yet’ they said. And so we took it to The Bridge…

The lovely Sam Courtney at The Bridge Community Centre kindly agreed to host Soup 7 and last September a great night was had by all – both soup and pitches. How you chose the winner from all the great stories but the winner was – The Hummingbird Project helping local people to adopt migrant children from Calais.

Soup 8 at Community Base in Brighton was another great evening and brilliant to spend some time with Caroline Lucas, another Soup fan. Great soup, great pitches, great music from Birte Paulsen & Paul Diello, and the winners were Rohan and Chloe from SPEAKOUT with their pop quiz on the issues people with learning disabilities face.


It was fun to sit on the pitch selection committee for Soup 9 recently – what a difficult job that was. Lots of discussion – only wish we could get them all on ! Am sure it will be another great evening!

Been great to spread the word around the BITC Connector teams across the country which has inspired and got some other Soups started. The Soup is spilt and  word spreads…

So now I am hooked on Soup ! The journey is not over…

Look forward to many more Soups.”

Mike Wardill

Thanks, Mike, we’ll miss you!


Thanks from Young Carers

BrightonSoup received a little thank you note we thought we should pass on.

On behalf of the Carers Centre for Brighton & Hove, I would like to to thank all your guests for their donations of £467. Your financial support helps us continue in our mission to support carers and their families. The money will be used to support young carers activities in 2017-18.

The generous support of individuals like you makes it possible for us to exist and to make the community a great place to live.

Once again, many thanks for your generosity and support to the Carers Centre.

The Carers Centre for Brighton & Hove


St George and the Soup Dragons

Firstly, an apology for the delay of our post soup event write up! It’s been a crazy beginning of a year with a lot going on. However, for our first Soup of the year we think it went great! Once again we had a whole load of Soup newbies – Where are you coming from? Come again! Bring a friend! – along with lots of familiar faces. Tickets sold out in record time so it’s a good thing we had a bigger venue! Although we want to continue to grow, we want to make sure we hold on to the cosy, intimate vibe that you’ve all come to know and love.

As we get bigger we want to make sure we stay as IMG_9222.JPGenvironmentally friendly as possible so we keep thinking about steps we can take to become more sustainable. We’ve ditched the paper table cloths in favour of some reusable (and very swish) oil cloth coverings and Team Soup volunteer Arij has made some gorgeous recycled AND reusable flowers for the tables.

A huge thank you goes out to Colm and Anna from St George’s Catholic Church for letting us use the hall and for making extra tables appear seemingly out of nowhere.

If there’s one thing we know how to do here at BrightonSoup it’s tugging on your heart strings and this event was no exception. Everyone we spoke to said it was, once again, a tough vote.

The winner of the giant cheque made out for £467 (don’t worry, she gets real money too) was Ruth from Young Carers. This money will go towards providing respite breaks and aspirational activities making the lives of young people aged 5-24 that little bit more normal. A hugely deserving cause which you can find out more about HERE.


All of the pitchers did an amazing job and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house once they’d finished with us. Jemma, Sophie, Nazan & Ruth you’re all doing amazing things for our community, keep it up! Don’t forget to check out the links to all of the projects in our previous post (event archive) so please to get in touch and get involved! That’s what it’s all about after all.

It was great to welcome back Simon from Stoneham Bakehouse. It was almost exactly a year ago that his pitch for a bike won and he came back to let us know about his new crowdfunding campaign for the bakery. They’re in the process of opening their very own bakery just by Stoneham Park and I for one will be getting my bread from nowhere else in future!


It wouldn’t be BrightonSoup without the all important Soup would it? And what a selection we had! Six Sumptuous Super Soups! How many did you try?

We love music here at BrightonSoup HQ and an event wouldn’t be complete without us treating your ears as well as your tastebuds. Unfortunately Charlotte Howard couldn’t make it on the night (although we hope to have her come and play at a future event) but the amazing Rooz from Rooz and The Carnivalé stepped in last minute with an acoustic set for us. His bandmates actually played at Soup in December 2015 but he couldn’t make it to that one so at last he knows what they’ve been raving about for over a year.

Big thanks to everyone who bought a raffle ticket and img_9408congratulations to the 11 lucky winners!! As you know ALL (that’s every single penny) of the ticket money goes to the winning project but we do have running costs that BrightonSoup needs to cover somehow and this is how we do it. So thank you.

We haven’t got a date for the next event yet but keep an eye on the website and social media or sign up to our mailing list and we’ll let you know as soon as it’s decided. Don’t forget we’re always open for project submission so if you’ve got a great idea let us know!

It’s not easy putting on these events but we do love it and we’ll keep on doing it. If you’d like to get involved and volunteer with us (we’re really nice!) please get in touch via the contact form on the website – we’d love to hear from you!


Team Soup

  • To see the full details on the event, who the contributors were and how you can get involved with any of the projects, check out the event archive
  • You can check out the event photos on our facebook album so get tagging


BrightonSoup @ St George’s 24th Feb 2017

Our 9th BrightonSoup event, this time at St George’s Hall, in Hangleton.

Everyone that organised, volunteered, cooked, entertained, provided prizes, decorations, pitched, won and basically helped make it all happen is listed below:


Ruth from Young Carers with their Wishes and Wonders project won the vote in £467 in donations.img_9444_edited

Simon from Stoneham Bakehouse came back a year later to give us an update, and talk about his new crowdfunding project.

The Venue12670628_1684879778429791_8661855184098258322_n

BrightonSoup @ St George’s

Court Farm Road


BN3 7 QR

The Projects


Thanks to all the pitchers taking part on the night, we couldn’t do it without you.

There were 4 projects on the night and they are always looking for extra help and support.

If you can help please get in touch with them directly or use our contact form.

1 – Educrate

EduCrate’s mission is to support students by EduCrate-Logo.pngfostering links between schools in the UK and around the world, promoting global awareness and advocating educational equality.

EduCrate’s mission is to support students by fostering links between schools in the UK and around the world, promoting global awareness and advocating educational equality. They link local schools to international schools in need usually chosen due to their poverty status; they’re struggling to provide adequate levels of basic school resources, and ensure their students can use education to get themselves out of poverty.  Their first step is to collect and then ship bespoke educational resources to those in need, turning waste into want. EduCrate’s job is to get those crates from A to B.

Pitching: Jemma Sheppardimg_9280_edited



2 – Awareness for invisible illnesses and fundraising for Guide Dogs UK


Nazan is passionate about raising awareness for invisible illness as it’s a subject very close to her heart. She is holding an event that she believes will be beneficial to anyone who’s struggling with an invisible illness. She will doing a motivational talk based on her journey and how she’s been inspired by it.

It will benefit everyone with an invisible illness, and people who are close to someone who has an invisible illness. The speeches will inspire people to not let their circumstances limit them. There will also be a Q&A and interview from a blind person who owns a guide dog to show how beneficial a guide dog can be through daily struggles of a person who’s not sighted. There will, be a raffle and live music from 4 different bands including someone who is visually impaired in each band. Nazan will also be creating a promotional video for the event that is edited with a filter of how she see’s. All money raised by the event will be donated to GUIDE DOGS UK.

Nazan Kaplankiranimg_9293_edited



Event Info

Fundraising Page


3 – Portslade Tool Library

To set up Brighton and Hove’s first Tool Library. Why buy a tool when you can borrow one from a neighbour that you’ve never met before?  The tool library will help people save money and waste less, but also cultivate a happier and more sustainable community.  Their vision is to create a place where people can borrow objects, share ideas, and connect with others.

Pitching: Sophie Passmoreimg_9306_edited


4 – Young Carers


Supporting young carers who care for an adult or family member with an illness or disability.  As part of this work they provide respite breaks and aspirational activities which allow young carers to form social and support networks, have a break from caring,  as well as build skills and aspirations for their futures.

The Wishes and Wonders project will work with a group of young people and a local musical and digital artist to develop a soundscape piece reflecting the young carers hope and dreams.  This will be both a memory making experience as well as producing a permanent piece of work that will aid raising awareness of young carers who remain a deeply hidden but vulnerable section of society.

Pitching: Ruth Sullivanimg_9348_edited





Soup & Food

These souper-stars provided 6 delicious soups (with vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options) to all of our guests.

Tom Chadd @ The Soup Dept

Sweet Potato and Lentil with Smoked Paprika

Lizzie Batten

Clam Chowderezgif-com-gif-maker-1

Sam Redfern – TRJFP Volunteer

Caldo Verde with Chorizo

Matteo Watkins

Italian Minestrone

Joanna Gray

Split Chickpea, Spinach & Masala Soup

Kate Dixon

Creamy Butternut Squash, Carrot and Lentil


Thank you to the awesome Rooz from Rooz img_9436_editedand The Carnivalé for coming in last minute and playing some great tunes.


Decorations, Donations & Raffle Prizes

These are the local (and some national) businesses that supported us with donations and some amazing raffle prizes. Without these contributions we couldn’t afford to cover the cost of hosting the event so that all the ticket donations can go to the winner.

So a HUGE thank you!

BSoup-Contributor-Intenso-#small bsoup-contributor-cove-hair bsoup-contributor-tesco
BSoup-Sponsor-Bowl-Stage-One bsoup-contributor-getstuffed
bsoup-contributor-piecesofpaint bsoup-contributor-rogerglenda
bsoup-contributor-thegrenadier  bsoup-contributor-westows bsoup-contributor-charlie-anjos
bsoup-contributor-steph-shaw bsoup-contributor-coralies-beauty-room  bsoup-contributor-nikkianjos bsoup-contributor-foodbank

The Volunteers

Thanks to Mike Wardill , Caz O’Kane, Olivia Canham and Sarah Gibbons being part of the project selection team.

Thank you Lizzie Batten for once again spending the evening with Peter in the kitchen. Thanks also to Ros Morris for helping us set up and again along with Shauna Pentony, Jessie Roberts, Hilary Smith and many others clearing up. And thanks to Steph Shaw and Charlie Anjos for doing the photography.

Please forgive us if we missed anyone out, just let us know so we can update the page.

Team Soup


An Event Like No Other – Nick Cross of The Reveals Festival

Nick Cross from St. John’s School and College pitched at BrightonSoup back in spring of last year. To think that was nearly a year ago already! So he’s back to tell us allll about it..

“It feels just like yesterday that my colleague Lucy, St. John’s learner Charlie, his support worker Martin and I attended Brighton Soup in April 2016.

It was an event like no other, from our projects conception to being up on stage pitching to win funding à la Dragon’s Den, this was an experience we treasured.

Our project was to seek funding for the Creative Arts festival1Tent at the St. John’s School and College Reveals Festival. This event described as a ‘mini Glastonbury’ was to celebrate St. John’s, a learning disability charities, 130th Anniversary. Part of the celebration was to create a learning disability-friendly music, art and film festival. Many of our learners, due to their complex disabilities, would never get the chance to attend or perform in a festival due to the many risks these mainstream events possess so we thought…let’s bring the festival to them!

After much planning, prepping and panicking we had the idea locked down and approached the wonderful people at BrightonSoup to see if our project met their helpfully broad application criteria.

Having been accepted we tentatively attended pitch night in The Crypt of Kemptown’s impressive St. George’s Church. We didn’t know what to expect and as we entered were hit by a delicious smell of soup and the smiles of friendly faces.

It was an extremely relaxed, yet professional affair with 3 other amazing projects also pitching for support. We thought, perhaps arrogantly, our project was the most likely to capture imaginations and although nervous made an earnest effort detailing The Reveals Festival when it was our turn.

“We received a wonderful response from the room and although we didn’t win gained volunteer support, food support and vital equipment that helped bring the festival together.”



Despite not receiving the funding we don’t regret a moment of it. St. John’s made wonderful contacts who to this day support our work in a multitude of ways and the 2 day festival went off without a hitch.


We cannot thank Brighton Soup enough for their innovation, support and chance to improve the lives of our learners. We hope to attend more events in the future and know that this community inspiring idea will stand the test of time.

You can check out videos of our learners performing and just how much fun was had at the festival on our Facebook page.”

Nick Cross, St. John’s School and College

One Hell of a Souper Time

One of our newbie turned regulars Jessie, gives us a little taster of why she loves Soup.

“I have attended two BrightonSoup events now, both of which have offered completely different pitches, different vibes and of course… different soups. If I could use one word to sum up my BrightonSoup experience so far it would be ‘Inspirational’.


I was a little apprehensive before I went to my first Soup; I did not know what to expect. The concept sounded super interesting, however part of me felt slightly daunted about attending something completely unknown. How wrong could I have been? From the moment I stepped foot through the door I was immediately consumed by the hub of noise and energy that filled the room. A room full of strangers, sat shoulder to shoulder supporting their community, eagerly awaiting the first pitch to begin. There was also live music and food provided – what more could you want??

“By the end of the first event, there was no doubt in my mind that I would be going to the next one.”


My second BrightonSoup was even more amazing (although I am a little disappointed that I didn’t buy the first ticket to get the free box of chocolates). The pitches tugged on my heart strings, and I may have even shed a tear. You will be surprised at how much you can relate to people’s stories and how being in that room can leave you feeling completely and utterly overwhelmed.

The hard work, commitment and sheer passion which goes into creating and running the evenings is absolutely incredible.”


An Interview with Xavier Armani – Republic to Bloom

When we took it to the Bridge, Xavier Armani from republic (now named Bloom) pitched his brilliant venture of a community coffee hub in Brighton, nurturing development through barista skills, for anyone finding themselves in tough circumstances. So we’ve caught up with with him to hear all about his experience with us, and how they’ve been since September.

So Xavier, how did you find out about Soup?

I had heard about it through my colleague, Amy, who runs another One Church project called Chomp and she spoke about how great an experience it was for her, despite that she didn’t win. Then hearing little bits from others here and there, I really felt like it would be a terrific thing for myself and for Bloom.

Oh fantastic, so what made you decide to apply, how did you get the ball rolling?

After looking for fundraising at so many places, Soup sounded bloom3really human centred and  real, which appealed a lot to me. So, I applied and then had a coffee with Will and Karin [Team Soupers] and we spoke about Bloom and Soup. My application would be further reviewed and, if successful, I would be contacted to prepare for the pitch. Since Bloom was only a couple months old I wasn’t very optimistic, needless to say I was delighted to hear that I’d been accepted.

Ah, that must of been exciting. How did you prepare for the big night?

Public speaking isn’t really a strong point for me but, drawing on the pitch-making session the Soup provided me and the support from my friends and family, I felt like I was where I should be.

You definitely were! So, how did you find the night? Talk us through your first Soup experience!

I was anxious, worried that I wouldn’t communicate clearly enough and that the audience’s understanding of Bloom and, to an extent, myself would be skewed. The evening didn’t start well, I arrived late and didn’t have enough money to buy my own ticket (actually I think I still owe you guys 67 pence).

Then I sat down at my table and got talking to the 14543799_1236028339792647_4094036179619985018_o
other pitchers, all of whom are doing wonderful work, and I started to relax a bit. I don’t remember any of my pitch (kinda blacked out), I remember the soup was terrific (some spicy Mexican bean thing) and being congratulated by everyone I walked past (my favourite part of the evening).

“I found the whole evening a wonderful experience, meeting new and inspirational people and connecting with the community of Brighton and Hove, I felt very grateful to be given that opportunity.”

Awesome, that’s great to hear. So how have you and Bloom been since Soup?

Really great Stephanie, we’ve had a positive effect on lots of people and a handful of our Jedis have journeyed all the way to employment and even more have graduated with certification.

Wow that’s fantastic, so pleased to hear its going so well. It’s absolutely incredible work you’re doing, helping turn around peoples lives, its very inspiring. Is Republic still looking for support and funding to continue your journey?

Yes indeed, we’re always looking for facilitating the fullest version of our offering and making it as sustainable as possible.

Well if anyone out there wants to get involved and support Bloom further, get in touch!

Thanks so much for speaking with us Xavier; but lastly, if you were a soup, which would you be?!

Well, I’ve never been asked that before. Probably a miso soup, it’s simple but very nourishing.

Ha, great choice! Well thanks for your time Xavier, keep doing what you’re doing!

We love what we do at BrightonSoup, and we hope you do too. If you want to see more of what Xavier and Bloom are doing you can check them out on facebook and instagram.

Our next BrightonSoup event is next month on Friday the 24th February @ St George’s Church Hall in Hangleton. There’s still time to submit for this event so if you have a project that needs funding and support, the deadline is next week on 2nd February. So get in touch and submit your idea!

That’s it from me, so have a great weekend, till next time.

(Tom Yum)

Team Soup

Work Hard, Play Harder

If you’ve been tuning in to Under The Influence with Mike Willis on 1Brighton FM (and if not, why not?) you might remember the very talented Charlotte Howard playing live on the show back in November.14433216_1416956838318544_1641062313348719759_n

Charlotte is a local singer/song writer known around town for her original tunes as well as some awesome Country/Pop/Rock covers.

So we are super lucky to have her perform at our next Soup in February! If you want a sneak peak at what a treat you’re in for, check her out on Facebook , and make sure you grab your tickets soon!

Team Soup

A Taste of Malvern Soup

At the end of last year I had the pleasure of attending another Soup in the UK, this time it was in Malvern, Worcester. It was their 2nd event, held at Malvern Town Football Club, and with four fantastic projects pitching it was an inspiring evening with a really difficult choice to be made.

After being greeted on the door by some lovely volunteers with matching Malvern Soup tee’s (can’t deny being jealous of those!), I then met Chris the founder, and his wife. We chatted and swapped notes before getting settled in for an afternoon of Soup!

“It’s nice when new people get captured by the magic of soup!”

Chris was inspired to start up Malvern Soup when he went along to Worcester Soup. He loved hearing about the projects that were pitched, but also loved the feel of the event. It created a space where people who cared could come together to learn, discuss and generate new ideas. So, he reckoned there would be enough people in Malvern with a passion for community to make a MalvernSoup viable.

It took a few months to get the ball rolling however. He had an initial meeting where Bruce from Worcester Soup came to talk and offer advice. They’ve had good support from agencies – council, housing association, children’s centre, police – which has continued. What he didn’t have were other community volunteers to make it a reality. But after some chatting to people at a market and an overheard conversation, their small group came together.


Chris Reed (left), and project pitchers

It’s always really exciting going to another Soup. Seeing how another group have established themselves, organised their evening. Noticing all the little things that differ or that you do the same. I was in familiar surroundings although I’d never been there! I went to another Soup earlier in the year (Ely) and although each one seems to have the same format, the same intent, they all have their individuality.

One thing that came across is that they love to involve people of all ages and try to be very inclusive, they’ve been supported by the local sports provider and children’s centre who have brought kit along to keep the little ones entertained whilst the older lot network. Ensuring fun and benefit for everyone there.

It was a tough choice; a community garden, an association reaching out to isolated people, a timebank and a self-advocacy group for people with learning disabilities. Their pitches were engaging and emotive. There were duo’s, interviews, props used, and after each presentation I heard I wanted vote for them. Which obviously made it difficult when crunch time came along.

The winners Speak Easy N.O.W who support people with learning disabilities, took home an amazing £350, which was all of the door money and matched funding from Big Pickersleigh Project (for the 2nd time)!

“They’ve all enjoyed pitching and said they’ve gained from it, whether through making connections or building their confidence. And that’s what it’s all about.”

Everyone at Malvern Soup are pretty optimistic that they can go on to even bigger and better things, and I’m sure soon they’ll be offering advice and support to newer soups, just as they’ve received from Worcester and us!

If you’re going to another part of the country, keep on the look out for other Soup events going on, its always great to see what else is going on, and support it. Community isn’t just local.

It was a fab Soup Chris, thank you, keep it up!

Stephanie, Team Soup