Second helpings: who fancies some more Soup in Glasgow?

Providing a valuable lift for community projects: Charlie B-Gavigan

The first course wowed a sell-out audience, so it’s no surprise that Glasgow Soup are serving up a second helping.

Versions of the innovative micro-granting event have been staged across Scotland, with individuals, local groups and small charities pitching for audience support for projects that will benefit their communities. Oh, and there’s delicious soup on offer.

Organisers of the Glasgow event have now released the short-list of groups presenting their case on Thursday March 23  at the Calton Heritage & Learning Centre. The five are:

The Homeless Barbers, an East End hairdressing duo offering free cuts to homeless and vulnerable people in Glasgow through a pop-up barbershop.

Piano City, which accepts donations of acoustic pianos and redistributes them in public spaces across the city including the East End. They also run a ‘pianos on prescription’ initiative that gives free tuition to those most in need.

Soundsystems, a youth project in Easterhouse teaching disadvantaged youngsters to DJ, MC, song-writing, music production and event promotion skills, as well as how to design, build and operate a sound-system.

Mind and Draw, a creative workshop based in the Barras that helps people deal with anxiety, self-motivation and confidence issues through the art of drawing.

Empowered Neighbourhoods, a project in Dalmarnock that empowers people with learning disabilities to live independently by helping them with tasks such as shopping or gardening.

Charlie B-Gavigan, founder and curator of the Social Care Ideas Factory, which is again organising the event, said the Soup revolution was taking Scotland by storm.

She explained: “The first ‘Soup’ was held in recession stricken Detroit five years ago as a unique way of reviving and empowering communities from the bottom up. There are new ‘Soups’ popping up all across Scotland, with events in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Stirling and Inverness.

“People all over seem to love its simplicity: you just donate £5 or more on the door, enjoy a bowl of soup and some live music, listen to local people pitch ideas that help your community, have a chat and vote for your favourite idea.

“The presenter with the most votes takes home all the money collected at the door to get their project off the ground. We were blown away by the support for our first event in November – more than 100 local people turned out on the night, raising £500 for the winner.”

That winner was Re-Tune, a not-for-profit initiative which helps people with post-traumatic stress disorder, from ex-servicemen to refugees, to reclaim their potential, make positive life changes and gain new skills through making musical instruments from discarded wooden objects, including unusual items such as skateboards and broomsticks.

David McHarg, founder and manager of Re-Tune,  said: “It might not seem a lot of funding to some people, but to us it was like winning the lottery. We run our project on a shoestring and winning Glasgow Soup has thrown us a lifeline.

“Since our win the phone has been ringing off the hook with offers of additional support, so we can’t thank people enough for voting for us and to Glasgow Soup for allowing us to pitch and raise the profile of our project. We are looking forward to coming back to Soup in March to let people know how their money is being spent.”

Glasgow Soup is supported by the Glasgow City Health & Social Care Partnership and has attracted the praise of Councillor Matt Kerr, who said: “Glasgow Soup is a fantastic initiative, bringing ideas and people together. It’s much more than just a means of funding, it’s about mutual aid and support too – and soup can never be a bad thing either!”

Soup and scones for the event are being provided by Unity Enterprise, a social enterprise which supports young people and adults with disabilities or social disadvantages through work experience, training, personal development.

For more information and to buy tickets, go here 

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