Launch of Northampton Soup raises £281 for town project

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The Heritage Open Day Weekend also saw the successful launch of Northampton Soup attended by more than 50 people and raising £281 for a local project benefiting Northampton.

The event which took place at Christ Church Community Hall on Wellingborough Road is an initiative of Northamptonshire Food Poverty Network supported by Northamptonshire Community Foundation and saw four pitches for projects including a community café, a cultural music project, a local food initiative and a community choir. The winning group was Pearls of Peace Community Café which took home the soup money for their project to open a Community Café in the heart of St James on the first Saturday of every month.

Host and Food Poverty Network member, the Rev David Wiseman of Christ Church, said: “I was truly delighted with how wide a range of the local community came together to support this event. The quality of the presentations were imaginative, interesting and across the key four areas of arts, social justice, social enterprise and food initiatives.”

Aysha Warrak of winning project Pearls of Peace said: “We’re extremely pleased we had the opportunity to take part and everyone who was there made a contribution so it felt it like a real community event. We had the opportunity to speak to people we would not normally connect with and were delighted to win. We look forward to coming back to a future event to provide an update on the project.”

Northampton Soup is grassroots dinner events to crowd fund creative community projects. People turn up and pay £5 which pays for soup and bread and contributes to the winning pot of money. The attendees then listen to four pitches by local people proposing ideas that will benefit Northampton Communities. Each pitch gets four minutes and up to four questions from the audience. Each person then has time to mull over which project they would like to vote for whilst having some soup and a chat.

Rachel McGrath, of Northamptonshire Community Foundation, said: “The event is based on Detroit Soup, a model of local fundraising and community engagement, which has kick started several other similar initiatives throughout the UK.

“Beyond creating a local funding network it is also an opportunity for people to gain a vote of confidence and network with their local community.”

The next Soup event is planned to take place in eight weeks and will be promoted via social media.