With Leeds SOUP №9 boiling to a close, the pitchers and the public have taken a seat and the vote has been cast.
For those that don’t know, Leeds SOUP was set up to micro-fund positive change in the Leeds community. Set up by eight individuals looking to make a difference and create an opportunity to showcase creativity, whilst being able to give back to the community without self-funding. The winning pitch takes away the fund gained from public donation, or ‘the pot’ to further develop their community project.
Before we announce which flavour took the public’s fancy let's take a look at the last winners, the Meanwood Play Project.
The night started with an update from our Leeds SOUP №8 winners, The Meanwood Play Project, who have been busy using their winning to expand their inventory and offer further resource to the community . The Meanwood Play Project has received glowing reviews from the community, as well as promoting the most important part of child development - fun. Forget the books, the gadgets and the fuss and get creative. Regular attendees to the project said:
“As an autism family, we find this kind of activity brilliantly inclusive - there are no rules to adhere to, other than having fun!”
Our latest event Leeds SOUP №9 showcased another four pitches, starting with Uzma Zafar, who presented her idea of Hairapy Pop Ups. Uzma aimed the project to give men, women and children quick trims on the go, “especially those that need a bit of a lift to feel better about themselves, or people that are going for job interviews.” You could call her the AA of emergency well-being, ready to rescue anyone who needs a quick tidy up.
Ana Ardelean presented the Leeds Play Network. With Leeds being a hub of culture, diversity and shops, it seems to lack anywhere for children and families to spend time together. With an array of regular visitors and a name already established, Ana hopes to sustain her space and expand the service to include open hours and to cater for special needs. Opening costs £300 per session, where a standard day of 60 children go through the doors, so winning the pot would allow the Play Network to maintain the space for longer, and to convert current volunteers to permanent staff. The aim overall to bring a community space without barriers for anyone to enjoy.
Let's Do More CIC was pitched by Loran Lewis, with the big aim to break socio-cultural stereotypes. Let's Do More set out to build role models and inspire the next generation with a mentoring system. The ‘matching’ mentoring model will be pairing mentors from backgrounds who have historically under achieved in education (currently focussed on Black Caribbean Males, and those with a White Working Class background) with mentees with similar backgrounds, aiming to utilise the power of role models. In doing this, it is hoped that the barriers faced by under-represented groups can be identified and tackled and the aim going forward is to expand the service to other under-represented groups to create a more inclusive service.
The final pitch came from Phil Pearce, sharing his Life Experience project. The project is made up of a group of people, each using their own lived experiences to educate and inform. They take their stories into schools and provide the opportunity for children to better make decisions, as they can understand what potential consequences lie ahead. They also take the project into prisons and provide the confidence that prison can be the new start for many, as it has been for those running the group. Phil has self funded the project for three years with 100% positive feedback to his name and aims to use the funds for resources and people to go into schools more often.
Leeds SOUP №9 Winning Pitch…
Phil Pearce of Life Experience left with a total winning pot of £856 for the project. If you want to follow how he’s getting on, be sure to give him a follow over on Twitter, @Phil12Pierce.
Leeds SOUP №10 will take place on the 21st of August at Dock29, we’ll see you there! Remember that your vote can make a massive difference, plus, great soup!
Tickets are now on sale here.
Be sure to follow Leeds SOUP for all the updates and to find out how to get involved.