On Wednesday 19 July, Reading SOUP celebrated our second anniversary!

We’ve been running our community crowdfunding nights since July 2015 and in that time,  we’ve organised 11 Reading SOUP events, supported 33 local community groups and crowdfunded over £2,150 in donations to Reading-based projects and charities.

Winning projects include domestic abuse support service Berkshire Women’s Aid, sexual abuse helpline Trust House Reading and children’s bereavement counselling charity Daisy’s Dream.

Reading SOUP Community

Our July event saw Reading Community Learning Centre win the audience vote. RCLC provide learning and support services to vulnerable and isolated minority women in Reading. They took home £185 in funding, which they will use to provide creche services for the vulnerable women who attend their learning services. We also had pitches from Age UK Reading, for their Lawns and Borders gardening service and Berkshire MS Therapy Centre.

We asked you, our community of SOUPers, to vote for the soups you’d like to eat at our birthday event and you chose Chilled Pea Soup and lightly spicy Broccoli and Cauliflower. Our chefs produced delicious summery bowls of both and we ran out of the broccoli in particular very quickly.

This month we also received a donation of compostable bowls from Vegware, meaning we were able to provide all our soups in environmentally friendly bowls. Thank you Vegware!

As it was our birthday, we also had cake! Local bakery Shed Cafe provided us with their delicious flourless brownies.

While we slurped on soup, soothing music came from local singer/songwriter Matt Stockl. We also had lots of beautiful art from our former pitches The Engine Room. One of our big SOUP success stories, Reading artist Lisa-Marie Gibbs used the £180 she received in funding at our November 2016 event to buy materials for her art therapy sessions. We were delighted to see artists from that programme return to show off their works for our anniversary.

At our first event, Reading Mayor Sarah Hacker presented our first funding envelope. For our birthday we asked Sarah, now Lead Reading Councillor for Culture, Sport and Consumer Services, to return to present the funds to the winner, as well as give us an update on some of the exciting cultural projects to look out for in Reading.

Reading SOUP are very excited to have made it to our second birthday. We’d like to say a big thank you all our partners, pitchers, musicians, artists and you, the SOUP community, for helping making Reading SOUP happen.

Come to the next Reading SOUP event!

Wednesday 20 September, St Laurence’s Church. Read more


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