Jenny Briggs, Account Executive at Greenhouse PR has been running Bristol Soup, a community crowd funding project for over a year. Ever since she read an article on the BBC called ‘How soup can change the world’ she was hooked, and had to bring the ‘soup’ movement to Bristol.
On the day, four community projects from across Bristol will have four minutes to pitch their ideas and initiatives. In return for a £4 entry donation, attendees will receive bread, soup and a ballot to cast for their favourite pitch. The community project that receives the most votes will walk away with all the money raised, and valuable community connections.
We caught up with the founder this week to find out more about Bristol Soup event that takes place Wednesday 22nd February.
What is Bristol Soup and how does it work?
“Bristol Soup is essentially a pot luck style dinner funding micro-grants for community projects. At each event there are four pitching projects and the winner is chosen by the audience. We aim to be a safe place where people of all ages and backgrounds can come together to share a common interest in improving their local community. We want to bring people together who want to make a difference, engage others, have fun, be creative and make connections with their neighbours.”
Why did you set it up?
“I set up Bristol Soup after reading about the amazing Detroit Soup in an article on the BBC news website called ‘Can soup change the world?’. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-31594513 I was so inspired by the what they had achieved and wanted to find out if there was a similar thing happening in Bristol. After discovering that there were over 40 soup projects across the UK but not in Bristol, I decided that I needed to set one up and so I started a twitter page and asked if anyone wanted to join me. Since then, I have been trained by Amy Kaherl (the lady who started Detroit Soup) and we are holding our 4th Bristol Soup event next month.”
What is your next event and when will it happen?
Our next event is on February 22nd at OVO energy. Tickets can be purchased online here >https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/bristol-soup-tickets-30208227622?aff=es2
What sort of enterprises do you want to reach out to?
“We aim to encourage and support the development of ideas and projects that will help improve the community, whatever stage they are at and aim to be a catalyst for creating closer personal connections across the City. Projects really can range from anything and previous pitching projects have included: a mental health group called Positive Minds who were in need of funds for food and room rental to a charity called Legs 4 Africa who pitched for funds to ship wasted prosthetics to Africa and Helpful Peeps – an online community exchanging help pitched for money to run their website.”
What do they need to do?
Projects that would like to pitch can submit their idea on our website here > http://bristolsoup.wixsite.com/home/blank-c130w The Soup committee will then vote and the top 4 projects will be able to pitch for funds on the 22nd.
How will Bristol Soup help or impact them?
“Soup will be able to give them a small amount of financial help but the most important thing to come out of soup is the opportunity for the projects to tell the community about the work they do/want to do. We aim to encourage collaboration from audience members and previous events have seen people offer help with websites, connections, extra funds and volunteering.”
Can you share some of the previous success stories?
“Our first winning project, Bristol West Indian Phoenix Cricket club, pitched for funds to get equipment for their inner city cricket club. They have since been able to purchase their equipment, were offered help with their website and were even able to find a few useful connections and volunteers.”
Whether they won or not, which project has been most inspiring to you personally?
“Waste is something that I am incredibly interested in personally so I was very inspired by Annali from Litterarti who pitched for funds at the second soup. Unfortunately they did not manage to win but they did spread their message and found some helpful volunteers. Litterarti are a not for profit organisation tackling environmental and social issues through creativity and the arts. They were pitching for funds in order to clear up and regenerate an unloved site underneath the M32 near Easton in order to change it into a thriving community space.”
What are you trying to achieve through Bristol Soup?
“I think Bristol Soup hopes to be a platform of support for all of the amazing projects that happen in Bristol. We want to reach out to the engaged members of the community who want to collaboratively think of ways we can improve the city for the better.”
What would success look like for Bristol Soup?
“Every soup so far has been a success in a unique or different way and I think as long as we keep reaching out to new audiences and hearing from exciting projects and ideas then we will be on to a winner. I would also like to see more input from young people at future soups so would love to develop more of a relationship with Bristol universities and schools to start hearing about ideas from the future generation.”
This year the successful event is sponsored by Bristol organisations; Greenhouse PR, OVO Energy and Vegware. With generious donations of food from Harts Bakery, Hobbs House Bakery and Chatterton’s Café.
Get your ticket to the Bristol Soup event here, taking place at the OVO Energy HQ on Wednesday 22 February. Find out more about the initiative in another Greenhouse blog and tweet us to show your support @SoupBristol and @Greenhouse_PR.