“Soup” community crowd funding

Saturday night was the very first “Soup” held in here in Stirling, Scotland – an evening of community empowerment, connection, and (you guessed it) soup!

What is “Soup”?

Soup is a simple and innovative method for community crowd-funding. The idea: people gather at a venue, everyone puts £5 in the pot, and listen to a few different folks pitch their ideas for a community project. Everyone has soup together, and then each person gets one vote to decide which pitch they liked best. Whichever pitch gets the most votes takes home the pot of cash to use for their project.

It’s an idea that originated from Detroit, USA – a simple way to get community projects off the ground – and has had all sorts of success. Now the idea has hopped the pond and is happening all over the UK, with an Edinburgh Soup happening here in Scotland. Stirling’s first Soup didn’t disappoint either, a lively evening of discussion, food, and community.

The inaugural Stirling Soup

When I arrived just before 7pm at the Albert Halls, the queue was out the door. Over 125 people registered their interest to attend, and when the day came, it was standing room only. Good effort, Stirling! I rushed back to the kitchen area, where I found Théo (aka mr.Riverside Bakery) furiously slicing up bread – we’d donated some sourdough loaves to go with the soup. I begged another bread knife off the kind bar staff and got to work slicing the crusty loaves too. Many slices later, we had a mountain of bread to offer the growing crowd.

The pitches!

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“90% of my job is drinking cups of tea with people” or, how to bake for your community

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It’s Saturday morning and 13 people are stood round a table with their hands deep in dough. We’re here to make and eat bread – crusty wholesome loaves of sourdough delights. But we’re also here to discuss ideas around accessibility – how do we make good bread and good food accessible to individuals, to communities, and on a systemic level? We’ve all gathered at the Hillview Community Centre, home of Riverside Bakery CIC, in Cultenhove, Stirling to begin the discussion.

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