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 Tent 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