Last week Birmingham hosted its first SOUP event bringing together 85 people at Impact Hub Birmingham.
Our first winner was Elliot Lord, of Our Own Future. Elliot’s innovative project is to make sturdy, lightweight cardboard beds that he hands out to homeless people on the streets of the region.
Elliot currently works on a number of community projects in the city that help to create opportunities for local people. “I had come up with an idea to make a homeless site using reclaimed materials but got no interest from any homeless charities” comments Elliot. “Then I saw a video of someone who makes furniture from card and this inspired me to design a bed that was free, portable and simple to assemble. After trying a couple of designs, I came up with the current one and I knew I had found the answer.”
His final version of the Cardboard Bed invention was made in September. “I contacted homeless services in Wolverhampton and teamed up with a soup kitchen so that I could find homeless people”. Now Elliot plans to roll out the project in Birmingham working with charities in the city.
The ex-primary school teacher wrote a book called The Hypothetical Government and decided that he needed put his words in action and start doing his bit to show people there is a fairer way to live.
He was encouraged to pitch at the first Birmingham SOUP by Becky, who runs Wolverhampton Homeless Outreach. The project won £380 but for Elliot it was as much about sharing his project idea and getting support which was equally as important on the night.
“The huge amount of support it got from the audience that was so special. Many people said they worked in some way with homeless services and in areas that are not my field of knowledge so it was overwhelming to get offers of help from them. I could tell from that very same night that we could really make this project happen on a large scale. That gave me the motivation to make sure that we actually achieve the goal of providing beds to every homeless person who wants one.”
The SOUP revolution has swept across the UK with events popping up across town’s and cities. The original event started in Detroit and has raised more than $100,000 for community projects.
The next Birmingham SOUP
Saturday 14th November at Impact Hub Birmingham from 11am-2pm. Families are welcome and all-age pitches are encouraged.