Stockton Soup has given away £6830 to 28 brilliant local projects and after a number of successful events here at ARC Stockton over the past year.
The SOUP project, which is now global, originated in Detroit and its goal is to promote community-based development through crowd funding, creativity, collaboration, democracy and fun.
The Stockton branch of SOUP has enabled a number of local groups who are committed to making a difference in the community receive funding to continue their good work or get a project off the ground.
Stockton SOUP has helped one group to host a weekly craft club for teenagers which has led to less anti-social behaviour, Teesside Trans Aware benefited from funding to help the organisation deliver talks and hosts events, and one organisation was enable to provide Christmas dinner last year to 25 asylum seekers in Stockton.
Emily Lee who helps to organise Stockton SOUP said: “We have now given away £6830 to 28 brilliant local projects. As a team we are delighted and blow away by the success of the Stockton SOUP events. At our last event over 130 people turned up to celebrate and support great things happening in our local community, how wonderful is that!”
Projects can be about anything and each event has 4 pitches and the group is backed by a local grant giving panel.
People turn up, make a suggested donation of £4 which gets them a bowl of soup, a roll and a vote. After some live music, four people pitch an idea to improve the local community. Pitchers may talk for up to four minutes about their project and when the presentations are over soup is served as people mull over the ideas and vote for their favourite. The donations are then split proportionality according to the vote.
A spokesperson from Trans Aware said: “Stockton SOUP is an amazing project run by amazing people. It’s fair to say that Trans Aware wouldn't exist as the organisation it is without the belief and support from the team at Stockton SOUP. My heartfelt advice to anyone with an idea to improve their local community is to get in touch with the SOUP organisers. Getting a small amount of funding is only part of it, networking and interacting with the wider community has its own amazing effects, and in our case, it can save lives.”
The next Stockton SOUP will take place on Wednesday 22 November from 6.30pm until 9pm, and if you would like more details then call the Box Office on 01642 525199.