Tag Archives: micro funding

“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

Purple Winner Update

At our last soup event, we caught up with our first Soup winner, Ann Menhinick from Purple People Kitchen, who gave everyone a quick update on how their community garden project has been getting on since winning the money back in June.

“Many things have happened and we have met some wonderful people who are anxious to help us.” Ann happily announced to a packed hall in Hangleton.

Among those mentioned in her speech was Barry Hutton, Head of Construction Studies at Crawley College, who after hearing Ann’s presentation at the first BrightonSoup event in June volunteered some of his students to help construct storage sheds, compost bins, picnic tables and raised beds for disabled users. Anne plans on using the money her project won to stock up on the equipment needed to work and maintain the garden.

Since work has started on the community garden, volunteers have been flooding in from all over; pupils from St. Nicholas who want to help develop a pond on the plot, a tree surgeon who aims to help with some of the heavy work, and many more who recognise the good that the Purple People Plot can do for the local community.

Many of those using using the garden will be the families of those visiting the Food Bank on Fridays to get a hot meal and supplies. They’re averaging 86 meals a week at the moment, that’s a lot of people being helped. In good weather they’ll be able to sit out and enjoy the garden and look after it.

Since pitching at Soup back in June, it seems things been moving quite quickly! Ann says “The Soup event gave us a spur to get going and we greatly appreciate the support and encouragement we have received.”

As always, if you want to get involved, then get in touch – Call Ann on 07789 765 933

Keep up the great work, Ann.

Team Soup