Tag Archives: Interview

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.

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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

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An Interview with Dare to be Charlie

Recently on BrightonSoup‘s radio show we had Charlie Savigar of Dare to be Charlie  on with our very own Mike Willis. Charlie is one of the brilliant artists we have had perform at a Soup event. So we took some time to chat to her…

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So how did you first get involved with Brighton Soup?

Charlie: So it was just over a year ago; I had just moved into the area and we were looking for places to play and came across BrightonSoup and noticed they did live music at their events. So we contacted you guys and ask if you’d be interested in having us come down and they were more than happy. To be honest we didn’t really know anything about Soup prior to that so it was all a bit unknown but we really enjoyed it.

So “Dare to be Charlie” how did the name come about?

Charlie: Well its actually a mix of mine and my husbands first names (Daren Callow).

And what style of music would you say it is?

Charlie: I would say country rock with a bit of a pop folky edge; its quite eclectic really as I have a bit of a classical background and I’m massively into country and americano. Darens into his old school classics like The Police but also electronica like Depeche Mode. So its an interesting blend when we’re together.

Well the first things that kind of hit you was that there was loads of people and it was a real kind of community vibe

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So when you were at Soup what did you think of it, what struck you the most?

Charlie: Well the first thing that kind of hits you was that there was loads of people and it was a real kind of community vibe. I mean when we play we’re used to playing in places where people don’t necessarily listen and it doesn’t really bother us. Here; after the first song we thought to ourselves people are listening that’s really nice, after the second and third and people were still tuned in it was brilliant, haha such a novelty it felt fantastic. We really kind of connected to the audience; its such a unique concept as a public event one we’ve certainly never come across before. It was a really great night.

Do you think you’d come and play again?

Charlie: Well we did say we’d love to do it again but to be honest even just to come along and get involved as a bystander would be great.

Charlie, to round things off I have to ask this question, our readers must expect it by now, if you could be any soup what would you be? 1621775_589713117769841_283394068_n.jpg

Charlie: I feel like I want to say something exciting hah but you know what, my favourite is potato and leek, oh you know maybe I’ll say spicy chocolate with a dash of mint!

That’s almost a desert more than a soup! 

Well thank you Charlie from Dare to be Charlie.

You can check out Charlie’s facebook page, hear some tracks and find out where she’s playing next.

And if you’re thinking of performing at BrightonSoup or simply just want to find out more, then head over to brightonsoup.org.uk; we’d love to see you there!

BrightonSoup is on the radio again tomorrow, for our fortnightly show Under The Influence in partnership with Mike Willis, so check it out, 1 – 3pm on 1BrightonFM.

That’s all from me this entry but have a great week everyone and don’t forget to stay hearty Brighton!

Chris (leek and potato)

Team Soup

Why Losing Isn’t A Loss – Lucy Stone of Rhythmix

Rhythmix is a music, social welfare and education charity who believe in the power of music to transform peoples lives. Well back in April @ The Crypt event, Lucy Stone pitched for Rhythmix and although they didn’t win the pot of money on the night, they didn’t leave us empty handed. Here’s what Lucy wanted to tell us about the the experience:

“Everyone comes away from BrightonSoup smiling, happy to be part of a community that has supported a charity. But people naturally feel bad that they can’t give to all of the groups who come to Soup. 2016-04-29-204214-#864-AAWell, we’re here to tell you that as a “losing” charity, we came away smiling from Soup too, even if we didn’t get the pot of money on the night.

We presented at BrightonSoup a few months back, with the aims of getting computers or money for tech in our office. As a charity, we work to transform the lives of vulnerable people through music. We make music with children in hospitals, older people with dementia and things like supporting young people who’ve been excluded from school in getting their first qualification.

But, as a grant funded charity, our funders don’t like us spending money on some of the basic things we need when we could be putting that money towards helping more people 2016-04-29-191842-#858-CDAmake music. We do understand why, but this led to a dire state of our office equipment. We had outdated computers, screaming laptops and broken keyboards. It was impossible to work when our PC’s would crash 10 times a day, or there was no delete key on a keyboard. We may have been at the cutting edge of music education, but our office was stuck in the past.

At soup we asked for support for new technology.
But we got so much more!

Thank you to everyone who’s helped to transform our day-to-day lives and ability to support our transformational work.

One generous Souper bought us a brand-new laptop! This has been a massive asset, and means we can now be much more efficient. This is our favourite thing for skype meetings, now 2016-04-29-213130-#982-CDA #editedthat we could replace the laptop that would screech if you moved the mouse pad whilst on skype.

Someone else gave us five used laptops that they no longer had use for. This has transformed our office, meaning there are now enough laptops per member of staff and we can work without any blue screens of death.

The great news is that the screeching laptop and other obsolete things went on to another charity. Jamies reuse and refurbish what they can and use them for training and volunteering opportunities for socially excluded adults.

And people also donated monitors! Combining these with the laptops means we now can have multi-screen set ups, working more efficiently than ever. This was incredibly generous and so helpful. Now we don’t hurt our eyes when we plan our sessions.

Ruby was also at BrightonSoup that night, supporting her mum whose project won the pot of money that night. Ruby decided to come volunteer for us, and has become an invaluable part of the team. She’s done everything from running our social media, fundraising, web design and more. Thank you to Ruby for coming to volunteer with us in the office.

In addition, when Matt and the team at Natural Balance asked the organisers of BrightonSoup about some projects he could fundraise for, Matt and his team chose to fundraise for us! Running 10 miles they raised over £1,000 for our dementia work: enough for four sessions. Thank you to Matt, Mark, James, Davide, Lisa, Seth, Nathalie, Natasha, Peter and Emily for running for us, and thank you to Soup organiser Will for putting Matt in touch with us.

From Matt’s fundraising, his friend Marcia has chosen to fundraise at her staged reading of Miss Everdene, based on Thomas Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd at Hove Methodist 2016-04-29-183753-817-cdaChurch at 7:30pm on the 25th of November. How much will this fundraise? We don’t know, but we know it’s money that without heading to Soup we wouldn’t have had before.

We’ve been humbled by seeing in action what can happen when a community comes together – they can do incredible things. An evening of soup and chatter led to us being faster, quicker, and better staffed because people reached out to us. This means we can help more people, and make a bigger difference in our community.

So, thank you to all Soupers and those who reached out to us. Next time you can’t vote for someone, know that maybe you have helped in another way just by being a part of the community.”

Lucy Stone
Strategic Director
Rhythmix

28th October 2016

This Weeks Radio Show

Well that went quickly, its that time again already?

Today on 1BrightonFM, Mike Willis will be leaning towards piano driven tunes.. sounds good hey.

And lucky for us, we’ll be getting another fantasticly talented artist on the show to play some songs and have a little chatter.

On another note though, this Friday (tomorrow) we will be manning our BrightonSoup stall at TEDxBrighton, so pop by and say hello!

But for now, tune in to 1BrightonFM from 1pm to 3pm today, and enjoy the show!

Mike Willis, Under The Influence – In partnership with BrightonSoup