SOUP Blog

Happy Birthday To SOUP!

It’s been a year since we started Dudley SOUP and we celebrated in style with a fantastic SOUP and a change of location.   To show that Dudley SOUP is for the Borough and not just Dudley, we chose Stourbridge this time, and set up our Soup canteens at St Thomas’ Church Hall in Market Street.

Our ears were warmed up nicely with an acoustic set from Rhiannon Leonard Music and our eyes were treated to some beautiful, thought provoking artwork from Chris Davies

The pitches got underway and first on the mic was Camilla Phillips from Hope Centre Halesowen with her project Sunday Pop-Up Cafe which hopes to reduce loneliness and isolation through eating together in a family atmosphere, provide a good home cooked meal for people who are struggling to afford food, encourage people to get together and share their cultures and food traditions breaking down barriers

Helen Garbett from Artworks for change was up next with her project Drawing in Dudley. Helen wanted the residents of the Borough to experience the many benefits of drawing such as improved confidence, creativity, communication, problem solving, observation skills, fine motor skills, stress relief and well-being.  Drawing in Dudley is for everybody in the community as Helen believes ANYONE can draw. She needed funding for art materials for these classes and would like to give everyone who attends a sketchbook to take away with them.

Marlene Fortes from IamMarlene DaCosta with her project CollectivCre8 who’s aim is to identify boundaries that stop us from exploring new relationships within our communities and look at ways we can find similarities and shared experiences to forge new relationships within local communities.  She is bringing a childrens Dance Project to Dudley in October Half Term and needed funding to help make that happen.

And last but by no means least John Reed with his project Music To Their Ears which aims to help stimulate and enrich the lives of our elderly care home residents through storytelling.  He asked for funding to take his storytelling project into Retirement Homes around the borough, to help combat loneliness and isolation that many of our elderly members of the community suffer from.

We also heard back from the winner of the last Dudley SOUP, Ivy from the Three Villages Patient Participation Group who took home over £300 to help their Tea Party project which helps elderly people meet and eat together.  They needed funds to hire a room in which to hold their tea party and so far the SOUP funding has helped a number of tea parties take place.

After some fantastic soup and cake, provided by Lunch on the Run votes were cast and counted and the winner was Marlene Fortes!  So keep a look out on her Facebook page for more details on her half-term dance project that SOUP has helped to fund.

Keep checking back on Dudley SOUP’s social media pages for the announcement on when the next SOUP will be held:-

Facebook

Twitter

 

 

Calling local artists!

As we countdown to the next Dudley SOUP on Thursday 21st September, we’re starting to work on the finishing touches that make a SOUP event extra special.

With that in mind, we’re looking for local artists would like to showcase their work at our event next month.  If you’re an artist and you’re free on the evening of 21st September, and would like to share your work with the people of the Borough then please get in touch via our Facebook or Twitter page as we’d love to have you with us.

Belated March SOUP Update!

This update is only 4 months late – somebody sack the Dudley SOUP Comms Team =)

So what happened at March’s SOUP?  Our first pitch was from Sam Billingham, founder of Survivors of Domestic Abuse. On leaving an abusive relationship she quickly realised there was limited support for women like herself.  She needed funding to continue offering support to women, children and men who are in, trying to leave or have actually left abusive relationships.

SODA Facebook

SODA Twitter

Sam Billingham, Founder of Survivors of Domestic Abuse SODA

Second pitch and second time at Dudley SOUP was Vi Wood, founder of Leslie’s Care Packages for the Homeless.  After finding herself almost homeless after her husband passed away, she vowed to help others in similar situations.  She needed funding to buy supplies for the homeless men, women and children in the borough, and she now has drop off points located around the borough if you’d like to take any unused toiletries, tinned or packet food and unwanted clothes:-  Nationwide Building Society in Stourbridge, Barge & Barrel in Tipton, Fair & Square in Stourbridge, Halesowen’s Cornbow Shopping Centre’s management office (next to Argos) and Coffee Cup Halas in Halesowen.

Leslie’s Care Packages Facebook

Leslie’s Care Packages Twitter

Vi Wood, Founder of Leslie’s Care Packages for the Homeless

Up next we had Kay Scampton from Thorns School and Community College. She asked for funding for their ABC Easy As 123 sign language project and was looking for help to promote their Deaf Awareness Week challenge of delivering their learning sessions to 100 people.

Thorns School Facebook

Kay Scampton, Thorns School & Community College

Final pitch of the evening was from Steve Sharples at Three Villages PPG.  He organised regular Tea Parties for the elderly in the borough and needed help to fund the room hire charges for his next Tea Party.

Steve Twitter

Steve Sharples, Three Villages PPG/Tea Party

All four pitches were incredibly strong but it was Steve who took home the money donated by the audience on the door – just over £300 for his next tea party!

Jon Mansell, our winner from SOUP #2 returned to give an update on his 2Day2Gether project, and we had some hilarious Black Country poetry from Steve Bartley .  And not forgetting the delicious soup and cakes made by the team at Lunch on the Run

We’re all very excited for the next SOUP on Thursday 21st September.  If you fancy your chances at winning a bit of cash to help your project, pop over to our applications page which is open until Sunday 10th September.

 

 

Bad News / Good News

Hi there Soupers. It’s with a heavy heart that we have to cancel this months Dudley SOUP. Unfortunately this time around, we didn’t receive enough submissions from local projects to make up the four pitches that we like to present to you on the night.

Now we know that there are people out there doing awesome work for their local community so we need your help to spread the word about SOUP so we can give these great projects a platform for their voices to be heard at our September SOUP.

We have an exciting announcement to make about September’s SOUP very soon! It will be held on Thursday 21st September, but that’s all we can say for now. Stay tuned for more details….

A December Soup to warm your cockles!

Hey Soupers! It’s been just over a week since the last SOUP and here at SOUP HQ we are still so excited about it!  We wanted to say a huge thank you to the 70 people made the journey to DY1 on a cold December evening. All of out ticket allocation was snapped up so you helped make the second Dudley SOUP a sell out again!  SOUP couldn’t happen without the participation and generosity of a great audience and you should feel proud that you are part of something that is genuinely changing people’s lives for the good.

That’s the thing about SOUP – the power of it’s positivity and the possibilities it unlocks really gets under your skin.  The majority of the SOUP team are already heavily involved in local charities and projects that are helping make a change across the Dudley Borough and this has  inspired those members of the SOUP team who perhaps didn’t realise until they got involved, how much good is actually going on behind the scenes to help the people who need it most.

So if you didn’t make it to Soup last week, what on earth happened? Well we began the evening with music from the lovely Jess Murdoch @jessmurdoch21 (thank you again for stepping up at the last minute!) and wandering through the crowd, amazing the audience with his magic was Ryan Burke @RJBMagic.  Then we got down to business and listened to four powerful pitches from the following people:-

Lloyd Stacey from Riverside House, who is transforming and regenerating a neglected part of Stourbridge into a welcoming community hub for people to develop practical skills in a social context. He pitched for tools and the cost of training staff.
@_RiversideHouse
Riverside House Website

Vi Wood from Leslie’s Care Packages For The Homeless, who was almost made homeless herself earlier this year,  is making collections all around the Dudley Borough for warm clothes and sleeping bags for homeless people in the borough.  She wanted to use the money to buy more sleeping bags and other essentials.
@Vi2015UK
Leslie’s Care Packages Facebook Page

Jon Mansell from ExBoozehound and 2Day2Gether, is helping addicts across the borough work through their mental health issues at the Hope Centre in Halesowen, and he also runs a Peer Support Group.  He pitched for help with financial support for getting around the borough to deliver his message.
@exboozehound
Exboozehound Blog 

Vince from Dudley Voices for Choices, a local Autism Support Group wanted to hold a Silent Disco to give people with Aspergers and Autism the chance to experience a social event in a safe environment, and he pitched for help with securing a venue and promoting the event
@DVCDudley
DVC Website

(and one of the great things about SOUP is that Vince received an offer of a venue for free from Gather CIC Cafe, High Street, Dudley!)

It was a tightly run contest this month and after sharing in some excellent soup made by DY1’svery own Lunch On The Run the audience voted on their favourite pitch. With only two votes in it December’s winner was Jon Mansell, who walked away with just over £300 to continue his work around the borough, sharing his experiences with addiction and helping those with similar issues.

So when do you get the chance to do it all again?  Wednesday 15th March is the next date for your diary.  The Eventbrite page for tickets will be going live in the very near future and if you would like to submit a pitch then you can do so here.

SOUP is always looking for new team members so if you fancy getting involved then please drop us a line on the Twitter or Facebook page.

 

Dudley Soup – Pictures from Septembers SOUP

We thought you might like to take a look at some of the great photos from Dudley Soup’s first event.   A huge THANK YOU needs to go to Scott Dale, who was the official Dudley Soup photographer on the night and the following photos are all his work (so if you want to borrow one you need to ask his permission here scott@scottdalemedia.co.uk). He is the man in charge of Scott Dale Media so if you are in need of community or corporate media solutions, get in touch with him.  He was my wedding photographer and he’s also a friend, so he comes highly recommended!

The Soup Community Committee are meeting on Tuesday 11th October at 5:30pm at DY1 on Stafford Street, for a debrief and to begin work on the second Dudley Soup which will be held on Thursday 1st December at 7:00pm at DY1 again.  If you would like to join the team, we would be delighted if you popped along to say ‘hi’.

If you have an idea that you think would benefit the community, and would like to be in with a chance to win a little financial boost to help get you off the ground just like Guy, then please send us your pitches by completing this form – we want to hear from you!

Secure your place at Dudley Soup NOW! Tickets are now available on Eventbrite.

Dudley SoupIf you missed out on the first Dudley Soup, don’t worry we’re doing it all again on Thursday 1st December!  Same place DY1 community space on Stafford Street, at the same time 6:30pm for a 7:00pm start.  Tickets are now available!

If you would like the chance to be part of the growing SOUP movement and help create something really special that’s helping to transform communities in the Dudley Borough, then get your tickets from our Eventbrite page here.

Places are limited, and the previous Soup event SOLD OUT so what are you waiting for?

WE HAVE A WINNER!

Andrew Mullaney looks back at last Thursdays amazing inaugural Dudley Soup:

Last Thursday evening saw something of a watershed for Dudley as it was the first of our Micro Crowdfunding “Soup” events. I’ve written about Soup in a previous blog but this was when we were at the development stage of the concept.

I am extremely proud to say that the first “Dudley Soup” was a fantastic success and exceeded all of our expectations.

The audience enjoying Soup whilst they vote for their favourite pitcher
The audience enjoying Soup whilst they vote for their favourite pitcher

You can see from the picture above that there were over 70 people present on the night and we were fortunate to have four excellent pitches from four people and groups who simply want to make a difference to society.

By way of a quick summary Soup sees four community ideas pitched that last for four minutes with each one taking four questions from the audience. Everyone has paid a voluntary donation to attend the event and, over a meal of Soup, discuss and votes for the pitch that they feel will have the greatest community impact. The pitch with the most votes takes the door money.

So why was Dudley Soup such a success?

I’d like to say that it was down to the amazing preparation, attention to detail and the wonderful Soup prepared by the team, or that it was because we had an amazing young singer, Jess Murdoch showcasing her talents.

Jess Murdoch warming up the crowd at Dudley Soup
Jess Murdoch warming up the crowd at Dudley Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’d like to say it was because of Pat Cobern and the wonderful display of Art from Artspace Dudley

The familiar wings of Pegasus, the bronze horse on Scotts Green Island
The familiar wings of Pegasus, the bronze horse on Scotts Green Island

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…or that it was because of the sensational premises given to us by Dudley Voluntary Service in the form of DY1. I’d like to say it was down to the bread Aldi donated or just the sheer raw enthusiasm from everyone present. I’d like to sat that it was because of the quality, commitment and thought that those pitching gave to the evening.

The truth is that somewhere within our “Soup” we found the recipe and it was all of the above factors and many more. There were people of all ages, religions, political persuasions and backgrounds from the Dudley Borough. Everyone sat where they were comfortable and talked amongst each other. It was interesting to observe very few people were engrossed in their mobile phones and most people talked freely. There were no agendas, no hidden goals or messages just the raw innocence of wanting people to do well for the betterment of our communities. The buzz and atmosphere was of genuine excitement and was infectious.

The pitches covered aspects of education, exercise, sexual health awareness in teenagers, caring for people with disabilities and upcycling. Whilst Guy took the money (£321) for his project The Up-Cycle Shop, it was clear that many conversations were taking place in the audience and other ideas forming. Collaboration between the pitchers was also evident afterwards as they could see where their ideas could have a mutual impact.

Guy Holness from The Upcycle Shop delivering his 4 minute pitch on stage at Dudley Soup
Guy Holness from The Upcycle Shop delivering his 4 minute pitch

I saw people talking to other people who they may not have otherwise known or even spoken to and the subject matter was the same..improving our communities and society.

I am reliably informed that the Twitter feed for Dudley Soup had over 6000 hits on the night as well as the #Dudleysoup. Another great example of how Social Media can link in without being the only vehicle for making things happen. Old fashioned conversation and community spirit were the real winners for me.

We have had some great feedback on Dudley Soup and it was a real high to hear so many people say just what an enjoyable and informative night they had.

I am really proud to have been a part of the team who made the first Dudley Soup possible and they were: Anna Gillespie, Paul and Karen Jaunzems, Helen Grice, Karl Denning (and Quasia), Jane Clarke, Lorna Prescott, Jill Hartland, Adam Hall and Jean Reid. We are all from different backgrounds and walks of life who came together making one common objective come to fruition

The next Dudley Soup is at DY1 on Thursday 1st December at 7pm. If you want to pitch, help, perform, exhibit, donate or attend then please visit our website or or let me know. Please do as its great!!