I’ve had the privilege of working alongside some rather remarkable women this week (very timely with it being #IWD) and it’s reinforced the idea that charity really does start at home or, perhaps more accurately - with a bowl of soup!
Two ladies from my fitness group and one of their friends set up a project called Soup on the Go last year to kick-start community-based fundraising in our local town of Northwich. This week they held their third event and rather wonderfully, it was their biggest and most successful yet.
The concept is simple… and brilliant for it. Guests pay for a bowl of soup, listen to pitches from three community projects or social enterprises in need of small scale financial help and then vote for a winner. Every guest pays £10 to take part and all the money raised goes to the winning charity.
This week’s event saw three scouts from the local group crowned the Soup on the Go winners and in receipt of the rather hefty £675 kitty. They delivered a hugely creative and enthusiastic pitch (complete with props and some crowd-pleasing role-play) to more than 50 local residents and focused on how they’d use the money, if they won, to attend the World Scout Jamboree in America, in 2019. It was a fantastic pitch and the room loved them.
It has to be said though, that the other two pitching projects were absolutely wonderful too and voting was no easy feat. Dan Pendlebury from Northwich in Need highlighted the work of a fantastic team of volunteers and explained how in just 14 months they had secured housing for all 12 of the town’s homeless people and were supporting foodbanks and local residents affected by food poverty amongst other things. Sarah Pickles, a breast cancer survivor, explained her wish to set up an awards night for women affected by cancer and she shared her story with the group.
It was a very special evening and it was a real honour to hear about the fantastic work that’s quietly going on around us in our community. Community spirit was palpable and you could feel it sweeping over the room as lots of people, just like my husband and I, started to think about what more we could do to help the local community.
Our contribution was only small last night but it was a step in the right direction and one that shows that with the power of like-minded and community-focused people, real positive social change can happen.
The ladies behind Soup on the Go (Catherine Sandland, Sam Newey and Kirsty James) are driving really tangible change in my local community and really are impressive forces to be reckoned with. Firstly, I salute them as the world celebrates the efforts of inspirational women for International Women's Day and secondly, I urge you to find out more about Soup on the Go (find them on Facebook here) and how you could start to help others by bringing your community together.
After all, we really are the change!
Find out what the local paper has to say about Soup on the Go here