Community. Good causes. And soup.
‘The Southend Soup’ is a simple idea - a movement that brings people together to fund good causes and raise awareness in the community. It’s based on the original Detroit Soup - the idea quickly spread and a network of Soups is now springing up across the UK.
At a Soup event, the basic idea is that everyone makes a voluntary donation of £5 in return for a bowl of homemade soup and bread. People with ‘Good Ideas’ each give a five-minute presentation, followed by questions. Slide shows are not allowed, but props and creativity are welcome. Everyone votes for their favourite idea and the one with the most votes collects the money in the kitty.
Ideas can include artistic ventures, business ideas or something that helps the community. Pitches have been as diverse as Christmas gifts for foodbank families, shelter for the homeless, a children’s eco art project, and peer support for mental wellbeing.
There are no rules about how the money should be spent. People are trusted to use the funding as they’ve said they will, but if they use it another way, that’s up to them - no one is held to account.
Everyone is encouraged to mingle and share ideas, and often there is a theme to the meeting as well as music, crafts and other stalls. The Soup is non-religious and non-political, and meetings are held at various venues around the town.