On Wednesday 16 May the first Dewsbury Soup is taking place. People will be coming along and paying a small donation (a minimum of £5 is suggested). For this they get a bowl of soup, the chance to listen to four people pitch their ideas to benefit the local community and a voting chip. Pitchers can be from a charity, a community group, a business, anywhere so long as they live locally to Dewsbury and their idea or project which will benefit and be delivered in the area.
There are four pitches and they each have four minutes and then get four questions. They are not allowed to use any technology. After the pitches and questions the audience vote using their chips – and the winning idea takes the money. That’s the pot of donations – the entry fees – and a cut of the proceeds made from the bar. The idea has been tried in nearby Huddersfield and the winning pitchers have walked away with £350 to £450.
It is an idea with its origins in Detroit. It is about building local pride in an area, establishing networks, promoting local action and creating jobs. It can help local businesses come together with community causes to improve the local area and get people feeling good about where they live and work.
Local businesses can also promote something for 60 seconds at Soup. For the tiny price of a small item of finger food for the audience (up to 100) four businesses or community groups get a soap box to wax lyrical for 60 seconds, though this is strictly timed and they promise a shepherds crook for those who run over. Any surplus food is donated to a local group so does not go to waste.
If you are interested in Dewsbury Soup, or starting your own local soup, then visit the Dewsbury Soup website. http://www.dewsburysoup.org.uk/