Last week we held our first big soup event, having trialed them in Bodmin, about a year ago we now felt this was the time to go bigger and better. That we certainly did! With £500 cash and 12 months of business support, training and mentoring provided by UnLtd up for grabs.
A community soup is an event where people come together to build contacts and share what work they are doing in the local community, all over a bowl of soup which was very kindly made and supplied by Keep Cornwall Fed who wanted to support the way we were bringing real community benefit. We find food to be a great starter of conversations so coming together in this way is an amazing way of building your network. This is followed by a number of pitches by community groups which the public then vote on, deciding who wins the prize money, and in our case the business support as well.
We wanted to make sure that the event would be beneficial to everyone who attended and not just the winner of the pitches so the event was not just about pitching ideas but also building connections and growing networks, helping us create a community of people working for the betterment of their communities that supports each other in taking leaps forward.
With SSE -School for Social Entrepreneurs, Par Bay Big Local, Eden Project Communities, local County Councilors among others in attendance the event also provided for the community groups and workers that attended the chance gain access to new opportunities and build their contacts, helping increase their capabilities as well as strengthening relationships between community groups and funders as well as promoting the support available that can help community projects expand their impact and potential.
The Group, Spy Squad, Gracefully Made CIC and Better Lives were the four groups that pitched at the event, for many of them this was their first pitching experience though, you would have never known. They were professional, clear and when questioned on their ideas everyone remained unflustered, an outstanding achievement in its own right. Weather they won or not, we are pleased that everyone found it a helpful experience.
Coming out on top of the vote and awarded with the £500 and 12 months support was Better Lives, a community support group for those struggling with mental health problems. “We are a new group which means this money will really lift us off the ground. We will be able to pay for training and DBS checks on all our volunteers instead of expecting them to find the money themselves.” said Jack, the founder of Better Lives.
“It’s important that our foundations are solid and our volunteers are looked after.” He added “The event was brilliant for all kinds of reasons but mainly boosted our confidence as a group and gave us a real belief in what we are doing. We gained some valuable contacts and the event helped us network for the future. An all-round pleasurable and motivating experience."
Jack says the support that has come from the soup was invaluable, as he prepares to facilitate the first public support group with the help of local volunteers this funding will allow them to focus on supporting the local community rather than trying to secure money to rent a room for their activities.
We are really happy that this event will help support a group like Better Lives and hope that the £500 will help them to achieve their ambitions. Jack done tremendously well, his ambition and drive to support those in his local community is inspiring and we hope that this result will allow him to take a big leap forward. We wish Better Lives every success with their Community Support Group, it's a brilliant idea and of course, we all have mental health so, good luck to them.
We want to help the people around us wherever possible and with a Community Soup we can not only support Community Projects with funding and business support but, we can also use this event to facilitate the building of connections, supporting others in working together for a greater impact. As a result we are pleased to announce that as this soup was of such huge benefit to those that attended, we now plan to scale it up and make even more of a difference, in Cornwall, with more regular Soup Nights and Community Networking Events planned into 2019."
If you would like more information about the soup nights, how to apply in the future or information about any of the groups who pitched for the money on the night then please contact us for more information.
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