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BIRMINGHAM SOUP press information

> VIDEO of first Birmingham SOUP event

> First winner Elliott Lord
BBC Coverage of winning project
Coverage in The Guardian
BBC Newsbeat Coverage

 

October 2015 Press Release

Birmingham SOUP’s first winner: Elliot Lord – Beds for the homeless takes £380

Last week Birmingham hosted its first SOUP event bringing together 85 people at Impact Hub Birmingham  The event aims to take action to improve the city and resulted in funding a project which aims to improve the quality of life for Birmingham’s homeless people by giving them a better night’s sleep.

In an experiment in real-time democracy the Birmingham team took their lead from the Detroit event with supporters putting a suggested donation of £5 in a pot. They sit down to hear pitches from four emerging Birmingham-based projects and eat a potluck style dinner (including soup). After food each supporter votes for which project they want to receive the money taken on the door. At the end of the night, the ballot box is emptied out and the project with the most votes gets the cash there and then.

Birmingham SOUP’s first winner was Elliot Lord, 43, 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, of Compton in Wolverhampton, 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 takes place on Saturday 14th November at Impact Hub Birmingham from 11am-2pm. Families are welcome and all-age pitches are encouraged. To pitch a project please go to the SOUP website. https://birminghamsoup.co.uk/

ENDS

Birmingham Soup is based on Detroit Soup, the brainchild of Amy Kaherl, which has run more than 100 Soups and started a global Soup movement.

Impact Hub is a community of purpose-driven entrepreneurs working towards a better Birmingham. It was itself funded by a crowdfunding Kickstarter which raised £65,000 to kit out the historic Walker Building as a collaborative work and event space.

For more information, contact Kerry O’Coy, PR on behalf of Birmingham SOUP
e: kerryocoy[@]gmail.com / birminghamsoup[@]gmail.com

Editors Notes

Interviews with the Birmingham SOUP team and Elliot Lord are available. Hi-res images are available of the event.

How to apply for funding: https://birminghamsoup.co.uk/ | @BirminghamSoup for details

Next event details: Saturday 14th November, 2015.11am-2pm. Impact Hub, Walker Building, 58 Oxford St, Birmingham, West Midlands B5 5NY

What we do: SOUP gives residents the opportunity to learn about creative projects happening in Birmingham and vote on the project that they believe is the best benefit to the community. It feeds the needs of small enterprises who require help and guidance and gives them the opportunity to pitch for micro-funding, share their project ideas and network with like-minded people.

Why we do it: SOUP brings together neighbours, supports the democratic process, features local artists, acts as a platform to share resources and supports projects that benefit the community. It’s a fun space to meet people, gain knowledge, make connections and network.

Who we are: SOUP Birmingham is made up of a group of 16 volunteers who have a desire to make positive change for their local community. The group is made up of a ‘neighbourhood board’ with a mix of backgrounds and specialist areas the cross outreach, arts, project management and training.

BBC Documentary: Can Soup Change the World?

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BIRMINGHAM SOUP – Press Release
August 2015

Introducing Birmingham SOUP

-Micro-granting event to benefit local communities in Birmingham
-Residents vote to choose which project should win funding
-Call for proposals for first event on the 1st October

Following the astounding success of Detroit SOUP,  a group of Brummies have taken inspiration from the bankrupt US city and come together to start up the micro-granting event in Birmingham.

SOUP will offer a supportive space where people can gather and share a meal to encourage conversation, relationship building and resource sharing, while supporting creative community projects in their hometown. SOUP is a great way to raise money, build community support and connect to local resources that can help groups carry out a project.

Each event sees four project proposals presented over an evening of food, fun and music. With a suggested entrance fee of £5 supporters are encouraged to bring and share food while voting for the community project they think is the best. The project with the most votes wins the money taken on the door and leaves with the funds that evening.

“After watching the BBC Documentary on Detroit SOUP I was so inspired by the simple format and the great projects being supported that I set about starting the Birmingham equivalent,” comments Birmingham SOUP Chair Amy Martin. “It happened just after the General Election in May when more cuts and increased austerity measures were announced, and it just felt like the right time to take things into our own hands and help make a positive contribution to the community”.

In five years Detroit SOUP has raised $85,000 for projects that include: after school programs, allotments and park clean-ups alongside the highly successful ‘The Empowerment Plan’ – a nonprofit organisation dedicated to serving the homeless community.

Birmingham SOUP is now seeking project proposals for its inaugural event on the 1st October which will take place at the crowdfunded Impact Hub space in Digbeth. By answering four simple questions groups and organisations with ideas for community projects are encouraged to apply for start-up funds. Deadline for applications is 17th September at 12noon.

Alongside funding there is an opportunity for groups & individuals to network, make connections and, in the spirit of the event, help make projects happen whether they are winners or not.

Tickets: Everyone is welcome to attend. Please visit the Eventbrite page for entry (we request that visitors offer a cash contribution on the door at the event).

ENDS

For more information, contact Kerry O’Coy, PR on behalf of Birmingham SOUP
e: kerryocoy[@]gmail.com / birminghamsoup[@]gmail.com

Editors Notes

Interviews with the Birmingham / Detroit SOUP team are available.

Images are available on request.



Event details: Thursday 1st October, 2015. 6pm-9pm. Impact Hub, Walker Building, 58 Oxford St, Birmingham, West Midlands B5 5NY

What we do: SOUP gives residents the opportunity to learn about creative projects happening in Birmingham and vote on the project that they believe is the best benefit to the community. It feeds the needs of small enterprises who require help and guidance and gives them the opportunity to pitch for micro-funding, share their project ideas and network with like-minded people.

Why we do it: SOUP brings together neighbours, supports the democratic process, features local artists, acts as a platform to share resources and supports projects that benefit the community. It’s a fun space to meet people, gain knowledge, make connections and network.

Who we are: SOUP Birmingham is made up of a group of 16 volunteers who have a desire to make positive change for their local community. The group is made up of a ‘neighbourhood board’ with a mix of backgrounds and specialist areas the cross outreach, arts, project management and training.