Category Archives: Projects

Thank you for being a friend (and sorry about the song)!

Hi Everyone!

“I wanna tell you right now, and tell you again, thank you for being a friend”

Well I’m really sorry if we just got that song stuck in your head, but it’s perfect for what we want to say.

We’re in our 4th year now (yeah, really) and that couldn’t have happened without the wondrous, gorgeous, beautiful group of people – past and present – that have made us look good: the volunteers!

In this week celebrating volunteers, we wanted to let everyone know that we couldn’t, really, really, couldn’t have done – and be continuing to do – this, without people giving their time and energy for nothing but the love of doing it. And maybe a fun night out every now and then.

You lovely people that: make lovely food for us, sing and play for us, give us prizes to raffle, or money to projects, stand up and tell us about your passions, help us reach out for help, hand out leaflets, walk streets, host stands, spend days and evenings doing paperwork or organising things, writing blogs and posts, helping on the night (sometimes very late at night), taking photos, serving food, washing and clearing up, support us with donations of food, vegetables, cakes, equipment, money, advice, encouragement, buy tickets, come early to help, stay late to clear tables and chairs, even sweep and hoover. If you helped once, or have done so continuously. There really are too many of you to list here, but you know who you are. We certainly do.

So to all of you volunteers, from the heart, we say thank you so very much.

Now, again, sorry about the song, but it’s what we want to say. Well except the bit about buying you a Cadillac. Apart from that..

And if you’re too young to know the song, here it is. Enjoy!

Thank you for being a Volunteer.

Team Soup

PS: And speaking of thank you, if you’re attending the Survivor’s Network’s ‘Thank You Day’ tomorrow then we hope to see you there. If you haven’t registered yet, there’s still time.

Return of the Dragon Slayer!

Hey Soupers!

We’re very happy to announce our next community funding event!

Catchy title, but there won’t actually be any dragon’s slain on the night – it’s not that kind of event. These dragon’s will be warm and friendly, rather than fiery and deadly. It’s just a cute (we think) reference to our next event venue.

We’re heading back to St George’s Community Hall in Hangleton, where we had a great time one very cold February. This time we expect it to be gloriously bright and sunny – yeah, okay, more like ‘hope’.

Tickets are now available, but more importantly, we’re open for submissions! So if you have something you’ve been thinking of starting, or need a little financial help to keep something going – then do apply. Even if you don’t win you get a chance to promote your project and meet friendly dragons wanting to help and support you. And eat some delicious soup too :).

So, who wants to start something?

Team Soup

 

With a little Help from our Friends

If you’ve been to soup before then you know it’s attended by very lovely people. We know that from the help and support you’ve given us and our pitchers over the the last 3 years. And when we needed your help at our last event you really didn’t disappoint.

Coming up to our All Saints soup we knew were were going to be short on help as a few of our team couldn’t make it. So we turned to Helpful Peeps and connected with Maxine and Tenzin who offered to help setup, host and take down after. Still short the day before so emailed our guests and again our call was answered – Shelley and Pat offered to come along. We had more offers than we could cope with, especially from all you soupers at the end of the night – we managed to clear up and get home in record time. Thank you all so much!

And the awesomeness helpfulness on display didn’t stop there!

If you haven’t heard, Isha, Boudicca and Tom from Audi Active won the vote on the night to take £448 in ticket money and donations for their Young Women in Tech project. Trying to encourage young women to get involved in the technical side of the creative arts. It’s great project and the pitch was passionate, but then so were the others.

Shortly before announcing the results of the vote one of our soupers offered a secret donation of £250 to every project that pitched. Not only boosting Audio Active’s pot, but ensuring that Free University Brighton’s Projector, Fabrica’s Textile Flow and B&H Speakout’s Thumb’s Up projects all received some much needed funding. How wonderful was that!

Amongst all of this was the usual joyful food, soulful music and lovely company. Our chefs Tom, Lizzie, Sam, Joe and Martin again provided a variety of tastiness, with vegan and gluten free options. Laura and Adam of Hickory Signals entertained us with some very soulful and moving folk music. And you of course, provided the company.

Caitlin from Survivors Network returned to give us an update on her projects since winning the last event back in December. The work is almost finished and they plan to hold a special open day where soupers and funders can go along and see the finished work and meet some of the team. How cool!

We had another great raffle courtesy of all our wonderful contributors, helping us raise £222 for BrightonSoup – to help us do what we do. Thank you all so much. There are too many to list here, but we do on our event post and on social media. As always, we also ask the winners to let us all know how they enjoyed their prizes by posting photos here or in the usual online places.

So from being a little worried we would be overwhelmed before the event, turns out we have a lot of supporters out there. Thank you all so much for making it another great night – especially all those that helped or offered to – and congrats to all the pitchers.

We’ll be putting up the full event details shortly, all about the projects, the contributors, the chefs and their soups soups and everyone that made it happen. And you can see the photos here.

Oh, and by the way, have we said “Thanks!

Team Soup

 

 

 

Pitchers, Chefs & Hickory Signals!

Well hey soupers, our Spring event is fast approaching!

It’s a busy time all round. The pitchers have been selected and are putting pen to paper, no doubt practising their delivery in a mirror. They think you’re a scary bunch, but we know that’s not true. The soup crowd gives one of the warmest welcomes ever! Still, public speaking can be very scary. Would you do it?

Our team of volunteer chefs have once again committed to feasting you on the night, an aromatic range of deliciousness will once again be available – in all the usual veggie and dietary variations.

Tom, Lizzie, Sam, Joe & Martin – we salute you!

 

We are souper delighted to announce that Folk duo, Hickory Signals, will be performing on the night. Strong vocal melodies with guitar, shruti, flute and a variety of percussion, layering sounds carefully and minimally to atmospheric effect – both traditional and original songs. Laura Ward and Adam Ronchetti are a joy to listen to and we hope you enjoy it.

“Like stepping back into a bygone age, both in terms of musicality and atmosphere”
– FATEA Magazine

You can check out their music at hickorysignals.com and facebook.com/hickorysignals

 

This is a first for us: someone singing at soup that has previously pitched :). Some of you may recall Laura pitching on behalf of Brighton Oasis Project at our Emmaus event. Well now she’s back, but this time to sing and we’ve been looking forward to it.

Come and join us to hear those perfect pitches, taste scrummy food and enjoy the music. Only 2 weeks to go, but tickets are still available.

Hope you can join us.

Team Soup

Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018!

Happy New Year Soupers!

A bit of radio silence from us since our last soup, which seems ages – well it was last year :). A little down time, but we’re fully refreshed (sort of) and raring to go (almost). Much like everyone else we imagine. Hello 2018!

But before we leave 2017 behind we want to thank all of you for supporting us during the year: The souper chefs that deliciously tingled our taste buds * The glorious people and companies that donated prizes to the absolute delight of our guests, and helped cover our costs in the process * The superbly talented musicians that pleasured our ears (too much?)  and got our feet tapping * The little army of volunteers helping us prepare for the events, then turn up on the day to help make it all happen, and those staying late to help make it all unhappen – in time for bed * All of you wonderful adventurous people that come out to join us, even on the coldest, gloomy nights, buying the tickets that fund the projects and supporting  your community * Those that brought food to share, bought or baked * And of course the brave and passionate people that stand up in front of you all and pitch for their projects – the very heart of what we do. Thank you all sooooooo much!

Speaking of projects, if you were at our warm and festive Christmas soup @ Community Base on the 8th December, you would have seen Caitlin win the vote for the Survivors Network, who needed funds to make their much used counselling rooms welcoming and suitable for helping the many adults and children that have to use them at very difficult times. They were awarded £384 from your tickets and a generous £500 donation from Dave Steell at One Church Brighton.

One of the joys of our events is how people in the room come together to help the projects, and this event was no exception. A gentleman from ZeroDayLab Ltd spoke to Caitlin and donated another £500! It’s great result such a fantastic project and we know the money will be put to good use, but we would like to mention the other three equally compelling projects that pitched on that night.

We know that several other guests offered the other pitchers support that night, but we know they are still short of their targets. So we’d like to list mention them here in case some of you – or someone you know – can help them.

St Luke’s Advice Centre – Katie Love

St Luke’s free service provides help and support to people on debt and welfare benefits issues. Their volunteer advisers go out and meet clients to help them, but this involves lone working and one volunteer is registered blind. So they desperately need a smartphone because it’s accessibility features, email and maps will enable them to see more clients in accessible locations, have more regular contact and in a safer manner. They already see over 300 clients per year and expect that number to grow.

If you can help please contact them on 01227 557 772 or email info@stlukesonline.co.uk.

The Washing Up – Kate McCoy & Nou Ra

The Washing Up is a performance about an everyday activity that everyone can relate too. It is being created by artists and participants in addiction recovery and will include songs, storytelling,  and finding  out who does  most of The Washing Up in Brighton! We want to create something funny and thought provoking and we have been programmed to perform at Your Place, part of Brighton Festival in 2018. Creativity is such an important part of addiction recovery and we want to give opportunities for people to participate, learn and grow. We are looking for support so we can reduce the barriers to participation by providing refreshments, helping with travel costs and finding accessible venues to rehearse in.

If you can help please call Kate McCoy on 07786 068 462 or email madamemccoy@hotmail.com

Kennedy Street CIC – Clare Kennedy

Kennedy Street help to build resilience, wellbeing and employability skills of people in Recovery. Their Community Connections program helps by developing social enterprise opportunities that offer supportive, nurturing, employment & self employment opportunities.They’re looking for funds to help them continue the great work they’re doing.

If you can help please call 07775 737 314 or email kennedystreetcic@gmail.com.

Three great projects still looking for help and support. Pass it on!

As for us, we’ll be announcing our first 2018 event shortly, but in the meantime you can see full details on our Xmas event and check out our facebook album – tag yourself :).

Hope you’re having a cracking start to 2018.

Love & New Year Hugs.

Team Soup

 

A Tale of Two Projects

If you came along to our soup @ St Luke’s last week, then you know we had a good night. It was our first time at St Luke’s and Reverend Martin Poole made us feel very welcome. It was a shame the building work delays meant we didn’t get to use the fancy new ramped entrance and disabled toilets, but that didn’t stop us enjoying  the space. We weren’t sure that was going to be the case earlier in the day though.

A few hours before doors open we had two of our pitchers cancel. We do get cancellations, which is why we have a reserve arrangement: a 5th pitcher stands by and if they don’t get to pitch on the night (everyone turns up), then they get a guaranteed spot next time. Sadly this time the reserve couldn’t make it either. WIth a couple of days notice we could have arranged something (as we have in the past) , but with only hours left we had no choice but to go ahead with just two.

We were worried that the limited selection would make it less enjoyable for the attendees, but we needn’t have. They still had two great projects to choose from and everything else was the same: the delicious and plentiful food, the buzz and clatter of eating and conversation, the super raffle prizes, the awesome musical entertainment and of course the delightful company. We think it went really well. So did you, judging by the feedback!

“I love how people connected in the room. We all shared one thing in common at the event; we turned up because we want something good to happen in our community. And it’s wonderfully uplifting!”

The positive community feel of how people can connect across this city happened before the doors opened. We had a call from the guys at Laing O’Rourke – the builders working up at the Royal Sussex – who had just finished a Macmillan coffee morningwith the NHS staff. They raised £700 – and could not eat another cake. Would we like them for our guests? How fantastic was that!

So a lot happened before we even started…

First up to pitch was Stephanie Lake pitching for the Brighton Women’s Centre who need computer equipment for their peer support drop-in groups. Then was Jon Bebb from Turning The Tide pitching for funds for their TREASURE project, to help take struggling families on uplifting weekend breaks. The one benefit to having two pitchers was they each got a little more time during the Q&A bit.

 

How many different ways can we thank the awesome chefs that give us our tasty selection? Once again Tom, Sam, Lizzie, Jo and our very own Martin delivered souper deliciousness. Tom couldnt make it (gigging in France again), but everyone else was there. Some of them may even have served you some soup – I hope you were on your best behaviour :).

So feasted, it was time to close the voting and whilst we counted votes and door money we had our raffle and entertainment. So a huge thanks to all of our contributors for giving us some great prizes: everything from more food and drink, clothes and pampering, stuff for the kids and some fun days out including a ride on the Brighton Zipwire and the i360! A special thanks to Tracy from Tesco who also came along to help out! You can get full details of everyone here. Thanks to them and all of our guests we raised £197.30 to help cover our costs. Thank you very much.

So raffle out the way, one of the highlight of the evening had to be Shauna Pentony‘s performance, a mix of original songs and covers on guitar, all delivered with her angelic and soulfull voice. Despite losing her voice earlier in the day, she still went on and absolutely delivered. Her quiet heartfelt song about her sister “Call My Name” and the closing rendition of Valerie are faves of ours. You can watch video here in case you missed it or want to enjoy it  again.

So just before we announced the evenings winner we had a quick update from last soup’s winner, Jenny Skelton and her daughter Charlie. The first ever Disability Pride Brighton event went perfectly and to say thanks to BrightonSoupers for the funding they received. The money was used to hire a Changing Places toilet which enabled people with the most severe disabilities to attend. They didn’t want to exclude anyone and your funding ensured they didn’t. The toilet hiring company said they had one of the busiest days they had ever had, which is a testament to the inclusive nature of the event.

So, then it was time to annouce who soupers had voted for this evening. A lot of people had a difficult choice, but in the end it was Stephanie who won the funds for her the Brighton Women’s Centre drop in suite computers. We saw a lot of people talking to both our projects on the night so we’re hoping they all got some much needed support. As ever, we’ll keep you posted.

So then thank you’s and clean up time, and it went a treat this time. For the first time we closed the kitchen to hot food/drinks after the voting and it gave us more time to clean up and we got to leave early.

And the cakes from the hospital? They went down a treat, but we still didn’t finish them, all. So at the end of the evening we added them to our food that we donated to the Stopover Team @ Impact Initiatives. They were expecting soup, bread and maybe some biscuits – they got a lot of cakes too :).

“One of the many thing I love about soup is how people just talk to each other. Love that the tables seat eight so people will sit with others whom they have never met before, and make connections they otherwise wouldn’t”

You can check out the event photos. Or get the full details on the pitchers, chefs, musician and contributors that supported us at BrightonSoup @ St Luke’s 29th September 2017

Team Soup

Feeling hot, hot, hot!

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, GBKMOD 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!

Team Soup

You can check out the full event details here and photos here.

Our next event is at BHASVIC on Friday 21st July and you can get tickets here.

 

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.

Chris
The Carers Centre for Brighton & Hove

 

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.”

festival-2

 

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

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.

Stephanie
(Tom Yum)

Team Soup