Tag Archives: support

St George and the Soup Dragons

Firstly, an apology for the delay of our post soup event write up! It’s been a crazy beginning of a year with a lot going on. However, for our first Soup of the year we think it went great! Once again we had a whole load of Soup newbies – Where are you coming from? Come again! Bring a friend! – along with lots of familiar faces. Tickets sold out in record time so it’s a good thing we had a bigger venue! Although we want to continue to grow, we want to make sure we hold on to the cosy, intimate vibe that you’ve all come to know and love.

As we get bigger we want to make sure we stay as IMG_9222.JPGenvironmentally friendly as possible so we keep thinking about steps we can take to become more sustainable. We’ve ditched the paper table cloths in favour of some reusable (and very swish) oil cloth coverings and Team Soup volunteer Arij has made some gorgeous recycled AND reusable flowers for the tables.

A huge thank you goes out to Colm and Anna from St George’s Catholic Church for letting us use the hall and for making extra tables appear seemingly out of nowhere.

If there’s one thing we know how to do here at BrightonSoup it’s tugging on your heart strings and this event was no exception. Everyone we spoke to said it was, once again, a tough vote.

The winner of the giant cheque made out for £467 (don’t worry, she gets real money too) was Ruth from Young Carers. This money will go towards providing respite breaks and aspirational activities making the lives of young people aged 5-24 that little bit more normal. A hugely deserving cause which you can find out more about HERE.

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All of the pitchers did an amazing job and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house once they’d finished with us. Jemma, Sophie, Nazan & Ruth you’re all doing amazing things for our community, keep it up! Don’t forget to check out the links to all of the projects in our previous post (event archive) so please to get in touch and get involved! That’s what it’s all about after all.

It was great to welcome back Simon from Stoneham Bakehouse. It was almost exactly a year ago that his pitch for a bike won and he came back to let us know about his new crowdfunding campaign for the bakery. They’re in the process of opening their very own bakery just by Stoneham Park and I for one will be getting my bread from nowhere else in future!

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It wouldn’t be BrightonSoup without the all important Soup would it? And what a selection we had! Six Sumptuous Super Soups! How many did you try?

We love music here at BrightonSoup HQ and an event wouldn’t be complete without us treating your ears as well as your tastebuds. Unfortunately Charlotte Howard couldn’t make it on the night (although we hope to have her come and play at a future event) but the amazing Rooz from Rooz and The Carnivalé stepped in last minute with an acoustic set for us. His bandmates actually played at Soup in December 2015 but he couldn’t make it to that one so at last he knows what they’ve been raving about for over a year.

Big thanks to everyone who bought a raffle ticket and img_9408congratulations to the 11 lucky winners!! As you know ALL (that’s every single penny) of the ticket money goes to the winning project but we do have running costs that BrightonSoup needs to cover somehow and this is how we do it. So thank you.

We haven’t got a date for the next event yet but keep an eye on the website and social media or sign up to our mailing list and we’ll let you know as soon as it’s decided. Don’t forget we’re always open for project submission so if you’ve got a great idea let us know!

It’s not easy putting on these events but we do love it and we’ll keep on doing it. If you’d like to get involved and volunteer with us (we’re really nice!) please get in touch via the contact form on the website – we’d love to hear from you!

Nikki

Team Soup

  • 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

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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.”

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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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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