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BrightonSoup ONLINE – Friday 05th March 2021

For our 21st BrightonSoup event we went online for the very first time.

Our last in-person Soup was in December 2019, and the pandemic meant we could not hold a Soup for the whole of 2020. However, we had heard that some fellow Soups (there are many across the UK and internationally) had held online versions of a Soup evening, so we thought we would give it a go…

Team Soup embarked on getting to know how Zoom worked for large groups and seeing how we could recreate as much of one of our evenings as possible. We couldn’t do it all – but on Friday 05th March a quite nervous Team Soup went live with over 100 people joining us to hear four fantastic pitches, see some soup being made and listen to live music.

Zoom can never recreate the same feeling of being together, but we raised a record amount (over £550) and 95% of everyone who attended said the evening was fabulous or good! So a massive thank you everyone who bought tickets, pitched and helped in numerous ways, we will be holding another virtual Soup soon!

Meanwhile, read on for details of the pitches, and watch the videos if you missed them. You can also donate to BrightonSoup or any of the projects using the Donate button below.

Donate Button

To keep in touch and hear about the next events you can join our mailing list.


Previous Winners

To set the scene and show how previous winners of BrightonSoup funding have used the money and support from Soupers, we heard from Chris de Banks of We are Not Saints.

Established in 2018, We Are Not Saints is a platform for musicians in recovery from addiction, to re-discover their creativity and find their way to be active in music, without having to face the dangers presented to them in conventional music scenes.

Chris shared his story and what has happened since he won the Soup funding in 2019.


The Projects & Pitchers

A huge thanks to all the pitchers taking part on the night, especially for pitching over zoom, we couldn’t do it without you!

Jacob Berkson delivered a passionate pitch and won £551.88 in donations for the Broadband for Asylum Seekers project to provide much needed broadband in houses in Brighton used to accommodate asylum seekers.

Read on for info and contact details of all the projects. As always, these projects are still looking for support. Not just money, but time, equipment and hands on help. If you can assist in any way, then please get in touch with them directly (details below), donate via Paypal or use our contact form.

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THE WINNER – Broadband for Asylum Seekers 

We are a small local charity, seeking funds to provide broadband for the rented houses used by the Home Office to accommodate asylum seekers in Brighton & Hove. Until recently, there were no asylum seekers placed here, but at the end of 2019, four rented houses were set up, shared by 29 people. We hear that there will soon be seven more houses, bringing the number of people placed here to around 70. Without internet access, it is very difficult for people to contact their lawyers, friends, family, or anyone they need to talk to. As one of the residents put it, “all my life is online and I can’t afford credit. The little money [£37.50/week] only buys food”. 

Watch the pitch

Contact: Jacob Berkson

Email: admin@thousand4thousand.org.uk

Website: thousand4thousand.org.uk 

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Hear the humour, passions and creativity of learning disabled people. 

In 2021 the show will feature sci-fi radio dramas by learning disabled writers, trips to imaginary sound forest Foley Woods, and surreal, funny and hard-hitting work from our poets.  At a challenging time for society, Carousel Radio will introduce and reconnect audiences, artists and communities through the sharing of diverse voices and stories. 

Carousel Radio challenges prejudices which lead to bullying, discrimination and inequality. To support Carousel Radio is to stand up for a fairer world, where society treats disabled people as equals.  

Watch the pitch

Contact: Dave Lavis

Email: dave.lavis@carousel.org.uk 

Website: carousel.org.uk 

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Survivors’ Network Homeopathy Project 

This project delivers homeopathic treatment to adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse, rape and sexual assault. The project has been running at Survivors’ Network, the rape crisis centre for Sussex, since 2018. There are 3 x three hour clinics with nine to 10 consultations a month. All appointments have continued throughout the lockdowns and currently take place online. It is a donation only project therefore it is accessible to people who many not usually be able to afford treatment or who need long term treatment. Homeopathy is used to support survivors through various mental, emotional and physical health issues that are caused or triggered by their abuse.  The types of ailments that people want help with range from insomnia & panic attacks to fibromyalgia & ME. 

Watch the pitch

Contact: Tara Lavelle

Email: homeopathyinthesussexcommunity@hotmail.com 

Website: homeopathysussex.org.uk 

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Making in the City

Making in The City is a 12-week art project partnering with Antifreeze, a Brighton based homeless charity. The project will explore new ways to make art more accessible and to support homeless people through creativity. The project will focus on making art in small groups, in environments chosen with the participants. This will allow an opportunity to give the participants a voice to collaborate, design and create a bespoke project, a chance to discover and experiment with creative ideas, whilst being supported in a safer space.  

Watch the pitch

Contact: Lucy Mytton 

Email: lmytton@hotmail.com 

Website: lucymytton.wordpress.com

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Contributors

Music – HUNI

The wonderful HUNI, who all live together, were able to perform live from their front room, even with a slightly shaky broadband, and keep us all wonderfully entertained whilst the voting took place.

You can hear more of HUNI here and here


Soup

We normally have a choice of soups to choose on the night, but as we can’t dispense soup over the internet we sent out a delicious Soup recipe from Joe Gray, and illustrated by Darren Menezes.

It was great to see many people tucking in, as is tradition, whilst the voting was taking place.

You can watch the video again or just download the recipe below.


Raffle Donations

We normally have a raffle on the evening, which helps raise money for the running of BrightonSoup, but that just wasn’t technically possible on this occasion.

So if you would like to support us direct to help ensure we can have real-life Soups in the future you can donate to us here

Donate Button

The money raised would helps us cover the cost of hosting our events so that all the ticket income and donations can go to the winner.


Volunteers

A big thanks to: 

  • Olivia Canham, Theresa Gomersall, Jes Bailey, Joe Gray, Nicola Keene for being the project selection committee.
  • Joe Gray for creating the soup and managing to video it in lockdown!
  • Darren Menezes for illustrating the soup recipe.
  • Jes Bailey for doing a brilliant live tweet along.
  • Chris de Banks at We Are Not Saints for sharing the impact of winning Soup funding.
  • Charlie and HUNI for the fab music, sound checks and moving equipment closer to the router.
  • Caroline and the team at Bradford Soup and Louisa at Liverpool Soup for advice and inspiration to help us go online.
  • Everyone else who helped, with technical set up, advice and moral support!

Forgive us if we missed anyone out. Just let us know so we can update the page.

Team Soup

Featured post
Brighton Soup Online

Virtual Brighton Soup 2021

It has been a while since our last blog, and sadly even longer since our last Soup. 2020 has meant we haven’t been able to hold our spring, summer or, even worse, our favourite Christmas Soup.

However, inspired by some fellow Soupers in different parts of the country, the Brighton Soup team are working on plans to hold a virtual Soup in March 2021.

We can’t all be in the same room but we are aiming to recreate the spirit and fun of a real life Brighton Soup online.

You will be able to buy a ticket and then access the virtual Soup live via Zoom on the night.

There will be:

  • Four projects doing short pitches via Zoom, with time for questions
  • A soup making demo with a delicious recipe so you can make it at home and eat along
  • A musical interlude
  • Online voting for your favourite project

So, we hope to see you for Soup on Zoom in March. Tickets will be on sale in the New Year, so watch this space.

If you are an organisation who would like to apply to pitch at our very first Virtual Soup, you can do so here.

Well it’s good news, bad news:

Sorry, no spring soup…

…. but YES to summer soup!

Sorry we haven’t posted in a little while, but hope you’re all well and having a good start to your year. Being volunteer run, we sometimes have to take time out when life stuff happens, and we had lots of it at the start of the year. So we took a break and next thing we know it’s March already!

We’re getting back to it now, but it means we won’t be holding our usual spring soup at the end of this month (boo!). We will be doing our summer one though, and can confirm it will be on Friday 3rd July at All Saints Hove.

If you want to apply to pitch we’re open for submissions now, and if you want tickets they will be available online at the start of June.

Thanks for listening.

So, are we good?

See you soon.

Team Soup

BrightonSoup @ All Saints
on Friday 3rd July 2020

The Drive
Hove BN3 3QE

Doors open 6 pm, event starts at 7pm. Finishes around 9:30 pm.

Brighton Soup @ Community Base – Friday 13th Dec 2019

For our 20th Brighton Soup event we’re back at Communty Base – our 5th Winter soup here!

We’re not superstitious, but Friday 13th did prove to be a tricky one for us. We had people unwell and injured, which meant that pitchers and the musical entertainer had to drop out. In the end we had to go ahead with two pitchers, but it gave them more time to pitch and answer questions.

More than ever we needed help, and we were lucky to get that from many people. We list here everyone that organised, volunteered, cooked, entertained, provided prizes, decorations, pitched, won and basically helped make it all happen.


Community Base
113 Queens Rd
Brighton
BN1 3XG

Thanks to Olivia & Alison for their help.


The Projects & Pitchers

A huge thanks to all the pitchers taking part on the night, we couldn’t do it without you!

Durgha Ramji pitched and won £376.10 in donations for the Mindful Worriors project, which aims to celebrate Children’s Mental Health Week in February 2020 by offering yoga and mindfulness sessions to children in schools.

As always, these projects are still looking for help and support. If you can help, then please get in touch with them directly (details below) or use our contact form.


1 – Rebel Boob

Rebel Boob, is a performance which explores how a woman gets back on her feet following a breast cancer diagnosis. This ground -breaking play is not about chemotherapy, or about death – though they both may be mentioned a little! This is about life, and it is about re-evaluating who you are, and what is important to you. It focuses on the period after active treatment when you start picking up the pieces and dealing with your grief.

The performance is based on interviews with women affected by breast cancer as a starting point, along with pioneering video-mapping technology and choreography, to create an immersive performance along themes of identity, body image, priorities, grief and relationships.

Rebel Boob is also important for the friends and family of a loved one who has been diagnosed with breast cancer… they too need support and we know that understanding more about the experience of a person, will mean that there will be more awareness and support available for them.

Pitching:
Angela El-Zeind

Contact Info:
07447 918 079
speakactforum@gmail.com
facebook.com/speakactforum

Rebel Boob is a project by Speak Up! Act Out!


2 Mindful Warriors – Winner

We have worked with 20 schools across Brighton, Leicester and Birmingham reaching more than 700 young people within two years of starting our project.  Since launching our project in Brighton we have worked with 4 schools reaching 120 students and hope to continue increasing the impact of our work in Brighton.

Mindful Warriors believes all children will benefit from practicing Yoga and mindfulness. For a flexible mind and body our 1 hour sessions are fun and rewarding. They consist of physical postures, breathing exercises and mindfulness  techniques suitable for beginners. Our programmes support students develop tools to remain calm ahead of exams, reduce stress and anxiety and improve physical and mental wellbeing. We also work with schools to use yoga as an experiential tool to manage behaviour in the classroom.

We would like to support schools in Brighton celebrate Children’s Mental Health Week 3rd – 9th February 2020 by offering yoga and mindfulness sessions.

Pitching:
Durgha Ramji

Contact Info:
07598 684 020
mindfulwarriorsmw@gmail.com
www.mindfulwarriorsmw.com
facebook.com/Mindful-Warriors-137541600282812
twitter.com/yoga4schools


Contributors

Music – Deiphos Jay

When our sheduled entertainer cancelled with only hours to go, we turned to previous winner Chris De Bank from We Are Not Saints for help. In no time at all one of his artists, Deiphos Jay, was heading over to entertain us.

Deiphos got a warm welcome from our soupers, and a great response to his original songs about everyday life. He was also full of praised for We Are Not Saints and how they helped him and supported hi,. He was there the night they won the vote and said it was an honour to return and play for us.

What a star, thanks Deiphos!

You can listen to his EP on spotify


Soup and Food

These souper stars provided a delicious menu of 5 tasty soups to all of our guests – vegetarian, vegan, gluten free – something for everyone.

A big thanks to Jim Gray for once again baking some delicious freshly made bread!

And to everyone else that brought food to share.

Don’t forget to check out The Soup Dept.


Decorations, Donations & Raffle Prizes

Thanks to these local people and businesses we raised £200 for BrightonSoup – thank you very much!

Anne & Ellie B for Italian Lessons, Hamper & Coffee
Tom Bauer @ Boulder Brighton
Victoria @ Brighton & Hove Buses
Emma @ Brighton Laughter Club
All @ Brighton Lindyhoppers
Nikki @ Brighton Royal Pavillion
Emily @ Komedia / Duke of York’s
Hugo @ Headmasters Brighton
Kieron @ Infinity Foods
Julian @ Intenso Cafe
Ben @ LaserZone
Lou @ Morrisons Brighton
Faye @ Phase Photography
Tracey @ Tesco Portslade

This money helps us cover the cost of hosting our events so that all the ticket income and donations can go to the winner.


Volunteers

A big thanks to: 

  • Olivia Canham, Victoria Garcia and Richard Piggot for helping to choose the 4 projects to pitch at this event. Bonus points for Olivia for helping wash up at the event too!
  • Lizzie Batten for spending the evening serving people.
  • Freya and Shelley for coming early to help setup – and staying late to clear up!
  • Alan, Steph and Jon for tremendous help carrying heaving things around.
  • Alex Keene for taking photo – and also staying late to help carry heavy things.
  • Everyone elso who helped, especially putting tables and chairs away!

Forgive us if we missed anyone out, we usually do. Just let us know so we can update the page.

Check out the event photos here.

Team Soup

A very big, souper thank you to our funders.

homity.co.uk chalkclifftrust.org sussexgiving.org

Well it’s the annual Christmas one @ Community Base!

Friday 13th December @ Community Base – 5th Floor Conference Room

The one with the big grins, silly hats and mulled cider, though probably not in that order. The chefs are concocting their delicious delights, and Shauna is tuning her guitar and practicing scales. Later this morning our hopeful pitchers will be doing a little training in preparation. And our team of overly excited little elves are packing raffle prizes and desperately eager to get it all started. All that’s missing is you!

If you fancy joining us Friday, there’s still some tickets left: brightonsoup.org.uk/tickets

Hope you can make it!

Team Soup

Shauna’s Back!

We’re absolutely chuffed to have Shauna Pentony perform for us again at our upcoming WInter Soup.

If you were lucky enough to hear Shauna play back in September 2017, then you know that was a special evening. She held the crowd at St Luke’s with her angelic and captivating voice, playing covers and original tracks. Hugely impressive considering she had lost her voice earlier that day, but came and played anyway.

Check out Shauna’s facebook and Soundcloud pages, or even better, come along on Friday 13th at Community Base to hear her play.

Hope to see you soon.
 
Team Soup

PS: Only a few days left open for submissions if you’re thinking of applying.

BrightonSoup @ All Saints – Friday 27th Sept 2019

For our 19th BrightonSoup event we’re at All Saints Community Hall.

We list here everyone that organised, volunteered, cooked, entertained, provided prizes, decorations, pitched, won and basically helped make it all happen:


All Saints Church
Community Hall
The Drive
Hove
BN3 3QE

Thanks to Sarah for her help.


The Projects & Pitchers

A huge thanks to all the pitchers taking part on the night, we couldn’t do it without you!

A huge thanks to all the pitchers taking part on the night, we couldn’t do it without you! Rosie Linford pitched and won £323 in donations for the Saunders Park Edible Community Garden project, which is exactly what it says – and helps people come together to improve mental health and tackle loniliness and isolation.

We also heard from Jo Bates, who supported Evie Marin and Caitlin Smith whern they pitched for their Park Life Campaign in July 2018. Though they didn’t win the vote, they still came away with £441.80 in funding.

As always, the other projects are still looking for help and support. If you can help, then please get in touch with them directly (details below) or use our contact form.


1 – perfect too – move on with new skills

perfect too – moving on with new skills, has the vision of ending financial dependency for vulnerable women by nurturing their talents. The mission is to enhance chances of employment for women in Brighton by building up their confidence through learning and developing new skills, to enable them to move on, to lead an interdependent live.

Training topics are: Housekeeping and cleaning, Front of house and waiting at the table, Communication, Health and Safety. Knowledge is power, therefore learning and improving new skills empowers and creates new opportunities.

Pitching:
Sabine Dornbusch

Contact Info:
s.dornbusch26@gmail.com


2Life Skills for Young People

YAC Brighton logo, white on red showing cartoon people talking by a signpost

YAC has been likened to the “Citizens Advice Bureau” for young people. YAC workers offer advice, support, guidance and expertise in a wide range of areas such as housing, sexual health, emotional & wellbeing, and debt and benefits advice. Our clients are aged 13-25 and many come to us in need of advice on managing life skills to help empower them to be prepared and manage the pressures of independent living.

Our workshop looks at the basic life skills needed to live and thrive independently and aims to address some of the questions we get such as:

“What is Council Tax” “What is a P45” ”How do I apply for universal credit” “ How do I budget so that I can afford to live on my own without getting into debt” “ How can I cook with the food I get from the foodbank” “How can I represent myself well at a job interview”

Pitching:
Josie Jeffery & Laura Clarke

Contact Info:
07793 438 197
yacbrightonservices@ymcadlg.org

www.ymcadlg.org/what-we-do/support-and-advice/youth-advice-centre-yac
www.facebook.com/yacbrighton
@YAC_Brighton

Life Skills for Young People is a project by YAC Brighton


3 Saunders Park Edible Community Garden

B&H Food Partnetship logo, showing the words spelled out in grey with the word food in big letter with the letter o's replaced with cartoon round vegetables - a red tomato and a green apple.

Saunders Park on the Lewes Road is home to an Edible Community Garde, a green haven and beautiful shared space in an otherwise built up area. Creating the garden has transformed a previously neglected corner of the park from an unloved and anti-social hotspot into, a peaceful and fruitful space that locals now seek out to enjoy, rather than avoid.

The Food Partnership runs gardening sessions fortnightly to take care of the space. Many helpers at these sessions have experiences of mental health issues, loneliness and isolation, homelessness, recovery from addictions or health issues. All have found that helping to take care of the garden has had a therapeutic effect on their wellbeing.

The garden aims to be as sustainable as possible, using permaculture methods to improve soil quality, saving seeds and harvesting rainwater to fill the pond. Seedlings and seeds are brought from local seed swaps and local allotment holders also donate surplus to the project.

Pitching:
Rosie Linford

Contact Info:
Rosie Linford
07515 288 704

website: rosie@bhfood.org.uk
bhfood.org.uk/directory/saunders-park-edible-garden

facebook: facebook.com/btnhovefood
twitter: @btnhovefood
Instagram: @btnhovefood

Saunders Park Edible Community Garden is a project by the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership


4 – Fire & Feast

Fernee forest club written on a green background, with a cartoon green leaf and a brownish flying bird

Fire & Feast is a monthly family event run by Fernee Forest Club at Bevendean Community Garden and Woods; to encourage local people explore and enjoy nature on a Friday evening and share food around the fire. Children and their families take part in creative and adventurous play in the woods and share seasonal produce from the Community Garden. Everyone is welcome and we operate a ‘pay what you can afford’ policy to ensure the sessions are fully inclusive.

At Fire and Feast, we experiment with recipes; making things like blackberry jam and baked apples, bread dampers and soups over the fire. Children of different ages explore the woods together; they climb trees, learn how to make rope swings and build dens; they develop fire lighting skills, experiment with whittling and try other woodland crafts. They learn about native wildlife and different habitats.

Through positive experiences in nature; we highlight the value of the local green spaces in Bevendean and Moulsecoomb and show children how to care for them. Together we grow food and plant trees and flowers and improve the biodiversity over time. We support families experiencing different challenges; including financial hardship and food poverty. We welcome children with disabilities and/or specific learning needs. Importantly, people can take the sessions at their own pace.

These sessions actively support community wellbeing through encouraging people to relax in nature and to notice the changing seasons and light. We go for walks, forage, observe wildlife; pond dip and watch the stars and the bats come out. We gather around the fire, cook, chat, eat and listen to stories by local storytellers. People often tell us they feel great afterwards; that their families sleep well and that they are encouraged to play in the woods and enjoy the Community Garden at other times. Fire and Feast brings different families and generations together and establishes a sense of community, through shared fire, adventures and feasting.

Pitching:
Sara Fernee

Contact Info:
07748 140 486
info@ferneeforestclub.com

www.ferneeforestclub.com
www.facebook.com/ferneeforestclub

Fire & Feast is a project by the Fernee Forest Club


Contributors

Music – Seadog

A big thanks to Mark Benton, Tom Chadd and Lisa Osborne for playing for us on the night –  it was brilliant. We had so many great comments about their performance, the music and their “lovely voices”. They are welcome back any time.

Mark on guitar, Tom on keyboards and Lisa #…

With the rest of the band they are known as Seadog,and their debut album, Cabin Fever Blues, is out now and you can hear it on Spotify.

A special thanks to Tom for playing AND making soup!


Soup and Food

These souper stars provided a delicious menu of 5 tasty soups to all of our guests – vegetarian, vegan, gluten free – something for everyone.


A big thanks to Joe Gray for also baking some delicious freshly made bread!

And to everyone else that brought food to share.


Decorations, Donations & Raffle Prizes

These are the local people and businesses (and some national) that supported us with some amazing raffle prizes. These contributions often cover the cost of hosting the event so that all the ticket income and donations can go to the winner.

We raised £284 so a HUGE thank you!

Ellie for Berties Barbers
Victoria @ Brighton & Hove Buses
Cindy @ Brighton Toy & Model Museum
Anne @ Brighton Palace Pier
Lia @ Gunns Florist
Hugo @ Headmasters Brighton
Julian @ Intenso Cafe
Richard @ The Ivy in the Lanes
Emily @ Komedia / Duke of York’s
Izzy & Nicholas @ Polpo
David @ Pavillion Garden Cafe
Faye @ Phase Photography
Nicki @ Royal Pavillion
Jenny @ That Little Tea Shop in The Lanes
& Lynne for the bottle of wine


Volunteers

A big thanks to: 

  • Caz O’Kane, Sam Redfern, Natalie Edwards and Michael Keene for whittling down the submissions for pitching at this event.
     
  • Lizzie Batten, Sam Redfern and Claire Finn for spending the evening serving people.
     
  • Liz Soper and Amanda Waterfield for taking photos for us. Amanda especially for coming down from Suffolk to do it. Well okay, you were coming down any :).
     
  • Jon, Alex, Michael, Natalie and Grace for staying to help us clear up. And everyone elso who did, especially putting all the chairs away – that was so quick! What a souper bunch of people you all are!

Please forgive us if we missed anyone out, we usually do. So please let us know so we can update the page.

Check out the event photos here.

Team Soup

A very big, souper thank you to our funders.

Park Life are back!

In July 2018, Evie, Caitlin & Jo came to BrightonSoup, hoping to get some funds to support their Park Life Campaign, a coming together of local residents and parents trying to get a decent park in Whitehawk. They had rushed to get there because they were the reserve project and had to step in at the last moment when one of our scheduled projects dropped out.

They didn’t win the vote that night. Jess Bayley did for the Centre for Ecotherapy project.

Park Life, didn’t win the vote or the £441.80 donations that evening. But they were completely taken by the warm support and encouragement they got from you all that evening. That wasn’t all though, as one of our regular soupers decided to donate to them the same amount, £441.80.

We’re delighted they will be coming along to soup next week to give us all an update on their project.

Hope to see you all soon.

Team Soup

Jess gave a project update at our recent June event which we posted up recently, and you can read up on last summer’s soup here.

Tickets available here.

Seadog duo bring the music!

Well it’s time to tell you who’s playing for us out our Autumn Soup, and we’re very pleased to tell you it will be two members of local indie band, Seadog!

Normally a five piece, two members will be playing for us: Mark Benton, founder of Seadog will be on guitar and vocals, accompanied by keyboard player, Tom Chadd. If Tom’s name is familiar to you, that’s because he has a long association with soup as one of our souperstar Chefs!

Tom owns and runs The Soup Dept and has been providing delicious soups for our events since we started back in June 2015. He’s also joined us when he can to serve people and help in the kitchen. We told you in our last post that you may have met him :).

Seadog album cover called Cabin Fever Blues, in sepia and blue, showing a wooden cabin in a snowy mountain setting with a clear blue sky.

Seadog are often touring the UK and abroad and are currently working on their second album, so we’re delighted they have taken time out to entertain us.

Their debut album, Cabin Fever Blues, is out now and you can hear it on Spotify.

You can see a couple of their official videos here:

If you want to listen to Mark and Tom play, then come along on the 27th, we still have tickets.

See you soon!

Team Soup

“Now I come to Ecotherapy, it feels like nothing can get in my way.”

In July 2018, Jess Bayley came to our Summer BrightonSoup at St George’s in Hangleton, to pitch on a project for the Centre for Ecotherapy. Her project won the vote and was awarded £441 from tickets and donations on the night. At this year’s Summer event at All Saints, Hove, Jess came back to give us an update on how the project went and how the money helped.

Some of you may have been there the night she won, maybe even voted voted for the project. Well if you didn’t make the last event or hear her update, Jess will tell you about it here.


Project Update: Jess Bayley from Centre for Ecotherapy

“We won £441 from Brighton Soup.

The project that we pitched for was to fund food purchases for the years youth provision. The programme provided twice monthly ‘Lifeskills’ sessions for young people with Educational Health and Care Plans (EHCP). We based our work around the fire, learning the skills of building, lighting, and maintaining a fire throughout the session and cooking on it. The money provided the food and cooking utensils.

Meals we cooked were chosen to be simple, healthy, fresh and diverse so that the young people could learn and potentially cook them again at home.

Meals such as: Pasta and vegetables in a tomato sauce; wraps and salad with a selection of different cheeses and houmus; sausages (vegetarian and meat) and mash; curry and rice; leek and potato soup; toasties with ham, cheese, tomatoes and onion; macaroni cheese; sandwiches with selection of fillings; you get the picture!

“Being at (the Centre for Ecotherapy) puts me in my safe zone. It lets me be open minded and try new things. It’s a place where I can speak my mind and listen to others, and talk about my problems in a safe place… Now I come to Ecotherapy, it feels like nothing can get in my way.”

16 year old participant

Fundamental in the sessions is the discussion that goes with the tasks, encouraging and guiding good behaviour, social modeling, highly focused attention to individual need and concern.

Added to that the calm and nurturing natural space the Centre for Ecotherapy provides with opportunity to learn from what goes on around, the young people benefitted enormously from the programme.

“My son really liked the calm atmosphere of being in the woods and learning outside the classroom, taking pressure and stress away from him, therefore enabling him to learn more.

He liked the course sessions because it showed him how to do things differently with things around him, so I believe this helped him to ‘think outside the box’ and could be used in different situations and would give him confidence to try other new things and believe in himself.”

Parent of young person

The young people shared the preparation, creation of the food and the clearing up afterwards, along with sawing and chopping wood for the fire, making drinks for the group and participating in the tasks assigned them.

“Ecotherapy engages the young offenders in nature and the community simultaneously…(It) works particularly well at engaging young people who are failing to attend school, or who display extremely challenging behaviour in the class room. The young people learn and stay focused doing the practical work and keep calm and relaxed in the open, outdoors environment.”

BHCC Youth Offending Team officer

During the time we worked with this group I was asked to submit an article on ecotherapy for young people by the British Holistic Medical Association. The article was published in the Spring Edition of the Journal of Holistic Healthcare.

I was able to base a some of my article on the current experience with the young people in our group.

The event was great. I felt particularly supported, valued and informed throughout the whole process. I enjoyed it all immensely and feel it is a wonderful community event.

Thanks to you all.”

Jess Bayley
Project Manager           
The Centre for Ecotherapy


Thanks, Jess!

You can read more on the work of the The Centre for Ecotherapy and details on our Summer 2018 event that Jess pitched at here.

That’s all for now, but we’ll be announcing the music for our September event soon! They haven’t played at soup before, you have probably have met at a previous event.

Start guessing :).

There’s still time to submit a project if you fancy facing the room, and tickets are available here.

See you soon

Team Soup