Back in December I attended Brighton Soup at the suggestion of a friend. It is a bit like Dragon’s Den but for local projects. This post has been sitting as a draft for two months, but with the next Brighton Soup event coming up on 24th February it becomes timely again.
The format is simple. You buy a ticket for the evening, currently £4. Doors open early so you can get comfortable and get chatting to other attendees if you so wish.
At the start time it launches straight into the four pitches. Each speaker gets four minutes to give their pitch on what they do and the project that they would use the money for, followed be a brief Q&A where the audience can ask about the project and the plans for the money.
After the four pitches, everyone tucks into a choice of tasty home-made soups and the bread and cake that people bring along as pot-luck. I do very little cooking, so I was a bit nervous about buying my pot-luck bread and cake from the local Co-op. Thankfully others had the same idea, so I was in good company. There’s plenty of time to eat and chat with those on your table, plus an extra opportunity for the pitchers to go round the tables to answer any more questions, and give a last push to convince people to vote for them.
Next is a raffle, the proceeds of which go towards Brighton Soup itself to keep it running. There were a good selection of prizes sponsored by local and national firms.
Each evening has some entertainment. This evening had a woman playing acoustic guitar and singing with accompaniment.
Last come the results. This evenings winner was the Learning Disability Voices Network film project, supported by Dawn Thorpe of Brighton & Hove Speak Out who took away a pot of around £380.
It was a fun evening, the soup was tasty and all of the projects deserved to win. Though only one pitch takes away the money, guests can give feedback or offers to volunteer or donate to any of the projects on the night by putting a sticky note on the project’s display board. I would recommend anyone to go.