Community - Colchestersoup

Providing a positive and encouraging environment for all community-minded people who want to make a difference - and a bit of cash too!

Colchestersoup is celebrating its two-year anniversary this month. In that time there have been 19 events, which distributed £14,216, donated by 902 people. At least 76 hours have been devoted to making 19 different soup recipes, served accompanied by 1,900 locally-sourced fresh bread rolls. 73 groups/individuals have had the chance to pitch an idea to a room full of positive, supportive people.

Some pretty impressive stats! But what exactly is Soup? Well, it’s Colchester’s local version of a concept born in Detroit - following devastation in a city with no money, initiative came to the fore as the community worked together to rebuild their homes and lives. In Colchester too there are a multitude of people who are just getting on with things, quietly making a difference in our community, enhancing all our lives.

The idea is to build awareness and involvement. Come along to enjoy a bowl of homemade soup (which is always truly delicious, by the way!) and a drink for a minimum cost (the suggested donation in Colchester is £5) and also receive a vote. During the evening three local people or groups get their chance to present their ideas – what they’ve been doing, why they need the money and how they see themselves in 6 months’ time. They don’t have to have charity status, simply be people who feel their idea makes a bit of difference to an element of their community. The votes go in and the winner wins the money from the door takings.

Sounds too simple, too small to make a difference? Believe us, Colchester Life has been at two Colchestersoups (and counting) and the connections and energy that comes about from being in a room with positive people who are actively looking for ways to help each other is truly dynamic and inspiring. While the winners are over the moon, (Typical quote – “Never have I felt more proud and honoured to be a Colcestrian. Thank you for making me feel welcome and believing in me”) the importance of the encouragement and offers of help that come for everyone who pitches cannot be underestimated.

It’s such an easy way to make a difference, and unlike a charity donation that you pay by direct debit, or by putting coins in a collection box, you can ask questions, really get a feel for the work being done, and know that your money will go directly to helping a local cause. If you can leave the evening without a renewed faith in the goodness of people and a more positive outlook Colchester Life will eat our hats!

Next soup is on Feb 10th at St Martin’s Church, and it’s a bit different – this time around you’ll be helping to decide how a local councillor’s community grant allocation should be spent.  All the details are on our events listings. Please come, if you possibly can.