Category Archives: General

Just TWO WEEKS to go!

Our next soup is on the horizon! Tickets are already selling fast, so please remember to book your tickets now!

nov event bowl

Our selection committee met this weekend and managed to whittle a huge number of fantastic projects down to just four (always a very hard task!) So we can confirm that we have 4 wonderful projects pitching on Friday 30th November at Community Base.

We’re not going to give it away (!) but here’s a cryptic hint for you to mull over:

Master the craft of  building a breakfast  at the next Brighton Soup!

Our volunteers have also been lining up some great prizes for the raffle too! Local businesses have been very generous, and we can safely promise that it will be worth coming just for the raffle!  We’ve also confirmed a very lovely music act which we will announce very soon.

And now – TWO invitations for you to get more involved with Brighton Soup!chefpropablog

  1. Two of our regular soup chefs are unable to help us this time, and whilst we’ve managed to find one lovely new soup-maker to join us,  we’re still looking for another! Please get in touch if you think you could make between 10 and 15 litres of soup for us. We can pick it up on the day if transport is a problem.
  2.  Would you be interested in learning more about how we select projects for our soup events? We’re on the hunt for new faces to join future selection panels. You can register your interest by emailing

Looking forward to seeing you all on the 30th November!





Bookface, Tweeter, Monstagram & The Postmonkeys!

Hi Soupers!

Well the project submission deadline has passed and we’re be getting a team together to go through them and select who will be pitching at our next event @ St George’s in Hangleton. A great venue we had the pleasure of hosting in once before.

We’re busy getting organised. The chef’s have all signed on. As has our musical entertainment (which we’ll tell you about soon). Some very lovely raffle prizes are coming in. We can’t wait!

In the meantime, we have a request. We’re looking for a cheeky, creative volunteer (or two) to take on our social media. Someone savvy with bookface, tweeter and monstagram as well as these bloggy things and of course the postmonkeys. If you’re capable and fancy wrangling all these things (or some of them) – or you know someone who can, then please do get in touch. We’d love to have them make our soup lives so much easier :).

That’s all for now.


Team Soup

Postponed, Reunited and Very Lovely People

Well first off we have to postpone our BHASVIC event on Friday 21st July :(. Who knew holding an event just as the summer holidays began would be difficult?! We usually avoid August, but thought July would be fine. ​But what do we know? So, apologies to all that were able and planning to attend. We will be arranging our next event for September and will let you know the date as soon as we can.

So after that downer we were instantly perked up by an email from one of our regular souper families. They were sad they couldn’t attend this event, so wanted to donate the money they would have spent on tickets. They didn’t know we were postponing. How lovely is that! Now hopefully they can make it to the next one. There are some very lovely awesome people out there.

BrightonSoup has brought lots of these awesome people together who help do lots of ​great things. This time though soup was able to re-unite someone with their lost camera. We were contacted by Dave from Community Works who said a camera on a bus had been dropped it in to them. Turns out the camera ​was filled with happy soup memories from our last event​! So we contacted everyone we knew who attended and within hours the camera and owner had been reunited. ​Obviously she was ​souper happy and declared  “Doesn’t it all go to show Community Works!”. It really ​does​.

​So for those of you thinking of coming along this month, again sorry, but we hope you enjoy the summer and can make it to the next one.

Team Soup

A look back on 2016

Happy New Year everyone!

2016 was yet another fantastic year for BrightonSoup, and now with over 50 Soups in the UK a fantastic year for the Soup movement. So what did we get up to last year..?

  • We held 5 Soups; in Portslade, Moulsecoomb, Kemp Town and Central Brighton
  • We were donated an incredible amount of raffle contributions from local business
  • We had donations from 6 supermarkets and local food organisations (including projects that had pitched)
  • 8 local chefs prepared a selection of 24 delicious soups, of which the majority were gluten free, and vegan 🙂 And Papa Johns donated more large tasty pizzas as well as all the mountains of pot luck yummy food that people brought along too
  • 4 talented and diverse musicians entertained us with some of their original music and some cool covers, and to make it a bit different we even had a guest speaker!
  • We had 20 people pitch their projects and ultimately 8 winners (as at one Soups the winner shared their pot!) who received £3,281.80 from the tickets paid by the 473 attendees, this also included the 3 extra prize donations from a local business and fans of the BrightonSoup movement

It was a great year for us and we ended it with a brilliant last soup full of so much energy, and compassion. And we’re totally looking forward to seeing SpeakOut’s documentary later this year!

We record everything that happens from our BrightonSoup events in an archive, so if you want to see what went down at any previous events you missed, or you’ve been thinking about contacting one of the previous pitchers you connected with to offer your support in some way, then check it out here.


So now onto 2017, and there’s a lot to look forward to. But we like to keep you on your toes, so all will be revealed in due course.. For now though we can wet your soup appetite, so save the date as our next soup is going to be at St Georges Church in Hangleton on 24th February.

We wish everyone a successful 2017, and look forward to continuously supporting each other and our fantastic community, lets make changes!

Team Soup

A Festive BrightonSoup @ Community Base

The nights draw in early in Winter, and we wondered if the damp streets and bitterly cold evenings would put a dampener on our BrightonSoup event at Community Base on the 2nd December.

What were we thinking?! Of course not!! Like happy elves, the BrightonSoup Team were full of cheer and despite the bum-clenching cold we had a packed house. True to form, over 50% of those attending were new-comers, brought by our ever expanding network or increasingly, those that had heard of us through word of mouth.

I can only liken the night to being a little bit Christmas day; bursting with excitement at the start, gorging on soup and good vibes from all the projects, a lot of Christmas cheers (I cleared up the bottles) and then a group clear up before a sit down with a cup of tea. Thank you to all who helped, we couldn’t do it without you.

The challenge, as always, was listening to each of the projects and deciding who to vote for. This time, we had some incredibly creative and engaging pitches from our projects.


Opening for us on the night – and the ultimate winner of the door money and donations of £398 – was the wonderful quiz master Rohan and his colleague Chloe from SPEAKOUT who engaged the audience with their pop quiz and wanted support to create a film with a local film maker to educate people about the issues people with learning disabilities face.

Following Rohan, came Emily from Little Green Pig rhyming to us about THIS IS MY CITY, a ten week project for forty 8-11 year olds from schools in areas of high deprivation, to produce a travel guide about Brighton & Hove for young people.

oxThe Ox Therapy Centre for Children is the brainchild of Denise from Holistic Happiness. Denise wanted support to continue her work with children who have experienced trauma, providing a venue for mindfulness and relaxation courses, providing the right intervention at the right time.

Our final pitch came from the wonderful Gail at Elder Abuse Recovery, a charity that offers support for elderly people who have experienced abuse. EARS wanted support to train more volunteer befrienders.


We were delighted to have the magical Birte Paulsen perform with support from Paul Diello for us on the evening, bringing a little bit of ethereal Nordic melancholy to the evening. You can find out more about Birte on our archive page at the end.

We have to thank Ollie and the team at Community Base for being so supportive and welcoming, allowing us to use the brilliant facilities and even helping with the washing up at the end of the night!

soup-urnHowever, BrightonSoup night is nothing without the soups! And what soups we had! They were so popular, people were coming back for seconds. We had our regular supporters Tom Chadd from the Soup Dept and Sam Redfern who both couldn’t be there but still delivered mouthwatering soups. Matteo and Lizzie yet again blew our minds and we had a newcomer  Joanne from ProgressLab who has been coming to BrightonSoup for a while who made us all very happy with her tasty soup. You can find the details of their delicious soups here.  A huge thank to everyone for bringing bread and food to share, there was so much to go round and the pot luck element of the night just adds to the evening.

We also had a visit from Caroline Lucas MP who we are very grateful to for sparing the time to come and visit us at our BrightonSoup event to experience the love. And the SOUP! caroline

So it just leaves us to let you know that the next event will be St. Georges Hall in Hangleton on Friday 24th February and remember that we are always over subscribed and the tickets sell out fast so get in there quick.

Big Love Souper Stars;

  • 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.

See you all soon

Team Soup

The Space between Soups

For the Brighton Soup team, the year has been a long, steady stream of activity punctuated by feverish last minute sort outs,  acrobatic poster hanging and heart-stopping moments of What have we forgotten!!?.

Once the last soup bowl is cleaned and put away for the next event, the planning rollercoaster winds up and we are at full tilt yet again.

But like most things in life, it is the spaces in-between that can provide us with the greatest insights and inspiration. That delicious pause that gives us the opportunity to reflect on what can be achieved through collaboration, connection and fun with the people in our communities.


During one moment of pause, we attended a fun day organised by the wonderful Friends of Vale Park where Mike and the local community have come together in order to improve the facilities for their local park. Within a short time, they have shown what is possible when a community comes together to make positive change.


It was a fantastic day and as the name indicates, we really committed to the FUN bit with some rather professional, if random, puppetry. We even met the Mayor of Brighton & Hove. He was incredibly gracious as we flagrantly pinned him with a Brighton Soup badge. What a gent.

Throughout the day, as we were approached by locals strolling through the park, every conversation sparked some new link, some new connection to another community or participation idea. Every other discussion led to ‘Have you thought of…?’ or ‘Have you met with…?’ and ‘Can I put you in contact with ….?’.  Our tiny Soup minds were getting blown by the possibilities that came from just one fun afternoon in the (eventual) sun.

Like most things in life, it is the spaces in-between that can provide us with the greatest insights and inspiration.

So like all good Soup makers, we know that a good soup is made from bringing lovely and diverse ingredients together to create something beautiful. We have taken each of those connections, links and ideas and thrown them into our ever-simmering Soup pot, ready for the next event and never forgetting to pause and taste the soup. You never know where it could lead.


Team Soup

You can check out or @valeparkfriends



Brighton to Ely

Well we’ve been enjoying summer while getting ready for our next event. There will be plenty of things to tell you about, but in the meantime here’s a little snippet about another soup. When a  couple of Team Soup members went a-visiting…

I found myself in Ely for the weekend with my daughter (and Team Soup member), Stephanie. It coincided with Ely Soup’s second event and we were really keen to go along and support our fellow soupers .


Angel & Zoe

So we rocked up and introduced ourselves to Zoe, the founder of Ely Soup. Straight away you’re confronted with her lovely, bubbly, and passionate personality. Zoe works as a community engagement officer working with people across the country. She had been keenly following the Soup movement and felt really passionate about doing something more for her own community.



Zoe & Stephanie

Zoe asked people to join her at a local pub one cold January day to talk about Soup. Scared that it would end up just her sitting by her lonesome all night, she was surprised and delighted to be proven wrong! It worked. Lots of people liked the idea, and soon enough a committee was formed and planningstarted for the first ever Ely Soup. A graphic designer friend designed a logo, they set up a facebook page and twitter, and suddenly they had started to get the ball rolling.

One of Zoe’s biggest challenges was keeping it simple. She felt that sometimes people become too focused on raising as much money as possible, but Zoe feels that it is about so much more than just funding (as do we) . Just as important is bringing people together and raising awareness in the community.

By all accounts their 1st Ely soup was a success, and we were lucky to be there at their 2nd. It was held at a cosy little restaurant Sylhet Ely in the centre of town on a Saturday afternoon. It was a full house and they had three fantastic projects pitching their causes. As with BrightonSoup, it was very difficult to decide who to vote for! The winner was Hayley who created Cambridgeshire Invisible Illnessses, and she won £260!

Hayley (pictured here with Zoe, some of the Ely Soup Posse and the other pitchers), was absolutely delighted, though surprised. She hadn’t expected to win – not with such amazing contenders.

As always, we were blown away by the extraordinary passion people have for what they want to do for their community.

The project pitchers at Ely have been varied, from a local food bank, a library volunteer who needed Lego, a breast feeding support group and voluntary first responders looking to raise money for a new life saving defibrillator (do you know they have to pay for their own petrol on call outs!).

What surprises Zoe most about Ely Soup, is  how overwhelmed and teary she gets at the the events (yep, same goes for us too). Even though on a daily basis through work she sees how amazing people are it still awes her how people have been so giving with their time and skills, the generosity of local businesses and the passion people have, to make Ely a fab place to live.

The Soup movement is an amazing thing, we are constantly amazed by the spirit and generosity of our communities. In a world which at times seems a little bleak, the soup movement is a beacon of hope and positivity. Keep on Souping Zoe and Team, you are doing an awesome job. And thanks for a lovely afternoon, you’re always welcome in Brighton.

Team Soup

You can check out and facebook/ElySoup

Thank You , Richard!

Thank you everyone for making BrightonSoup @ Emmaus such a great night, we really enjoyed it. We’re all very knackered now and taking a short break this week, but when we return we’ll post up all the details of the event and how it went. In the meantime we thought you’d like to have a look at the photos.

The photographs are courtesy of the very nice Richard Boll. He came down from London to spend the evening taking photos for us and did a brilliant job. We also forgot to thank him at our closing speech, so Richard, thank you so much for giving us your time and the fantastic job you did of capturing the vibe and fun of our event. You should start a business or something 🙂

BrightonSoup @ Emmaus Photos

Have a great week and see you when we get back

Team Soup

A year in Soup

A year ago last Sunday – June 19th – we held our very first soup. Driven by a desire to do something to break the doom and gloom of the recovery. Do something that wasn’t about work, especially as I have to spend time working way from Brighton. Then I read the bit the BBC did on Detroit Soup that seems to have been the catalyst for soups all around the country.

My wife said go for it, my daughter said she do it with me. So we went for it, roping in family, friends and ultimately complete strangers. We weren’t sure how we were going to cover our costs until people started donating stuff for a raffle. Well we better have a raffle then…

Local businesses chipped in, not just for a raffle, but flowers, balloons, decorations and sweets. They made us big pots of soup. A lovely lady came to play and sing. Four very brave people made posters, brought leaflets and then stood and pitched to a roomful of strangers about their project and what they needed money for, then mingled with the guests answering questions.

Luckily people had come to see what it was all about: young, old, on their own, with friends, couples. Some brought food they cooked at home or stopped at a shop on the way: lasagne, rice, bread, cakes, wine – so many things to share and eat.

At one point I just stood watching the room. For the first time that day I stopped moving and just enjoyed being. A room full of people eating, talking animatedly, laughing, voting, looking at displays, swapping details, passing out food, clearing plates, etc. After weeks of nerves and wondering will anyone come, will they enjoy it, will it be a disaster? The answers were clear: yes, yeah, and no it wasn’t.

It’s easy to think of this as a proud “look what we did” moment, and I won’t deny I felt that when I saw family and friends in the midst of it all helping people. What really struck me though was the incredibly positive feeling that ran through the room. This was a room full of really nice people that wanted to get involved in something. Some were already actively engaged in their communities, but for others it was the first time – and it gave them the opportunity to be part of something. As it did me.

Donating money, volunteering, offering goods, space, expertise or just help spreading the word of what they do. And not just to the vote winner, but to all of the projects. It was genuinely humbling to see what people were willing to do, but more so, to realise what so many people were already quietly doing week after week. Helping to make their community better, safer, more beautiful, helping friends, neighbours and complete strangers. Those are the people that filled the room that night – and we were all part of it. We just created the space for it to happen.

It’s tempting to give you stats of the events we’ve held this last year, the amounts we’ve encouraged you to donate and the projects that received your help. But what stays with me about this year is all the people I’ve met. Strangers that approached me to offer donations, funding advice, practical support, help or just a chat about how much they were enjoying the evening. So many wonderful people and some really fun conversations. Some of those strangers are now part of our soup community, helping select projects, cooking soups – some are now on board as part of Team Soup. Some are now friends.

So a lovely lady in Detroit starts something that gets reported over here – and it inspires people all around the country to do the same. If you haven’t yet been to a Soup event, then you really should try one, it really is a great way to spend an evening. Wherever you are, there’s bound to be one happening nearby. We may have different flavours, but at heart we’re the same. And if there isn’t one nearby, well then start one 🙂 . You won’t regret it.

And you can always get in touch if you want some help. From us at BrightonSoup or any other soup around the country. I may not know them, but I can assure they will be glad to help. After all, that’s what soups are about.

Soup changes so many lives and it has certainly changed mine.

I like that.


Next Soup: Friday 1st July @ Emmaus

Worcester Soup have a great list of all the soups that exist around the UK:

Soup Love & Other Titbits

Love Soup – First Soup Dates

Some of you will be happily or unhappily coupled to the person of your dreams. Some of you will not have dated since it involved putting on your Spanx or lucky pants, slapping on some musk and heading out into the night to persuade that special someone that your sense of humour and dance moves are ‘unique’ and ‘loveable’.

If you’re one of these lucky people, modern day dating could seem bewildering to you. Modern love can be a whirlwind of truth-bending-profile-writing and phone swiping induced repetitive strain injury. However, whether love blossomed back when Sister Sledge was banging out disco or Bruno Mars is funking it up, that first date can be pivotal. So as a bunch of old romantics, imagine how delighted Team Soup were that the last event provided the venue for a first date!

Fans of BrightonSoup know our events offer the chance to be involved in a grass-roots movement that through shared experience, brings people closer together in a world that can often isolate. So next time you swipe right, think Share, Listen, Vote and come to BrightonSoup @ Emmaus on Friday 1st July. Love might be a bowl of soup away.

Other Titbits

Tomorrow on Under The Influence you can expect the usual delightful music selected by the inimitable Mike Willis. His BrightonSoup guest this week is Nick Cross from St John’s School & College who pitched at our last event. Nick was hoping to raise funds for their Reveals Festival and though they didn’t win the vote, they did get a lot of offers of support on the night. He’ll be joining Mike after 2pm to talk about it. So tune into 1BrightonFM @ 1pm tomorrow afternoon to hear how he gets on.

Lastly, if you’re interested in pitching at our next event then you have a couple of weeks left to apply – just complete the online form. It’s only a few simple questions about your exciting project/idea and before you know it you could be one of four people pitching to our lovely audience. And wondering which ones on a first date :). So apply now!

Hope you’re having a lovely day!

Team Soup