Edinburgh Soup‘Soups’ have successfully got off the ground in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Stirling. Could your group benefit from one, or could you start a Soup in your area?

We find out more from Edinburgh Soup founders, Rob and Phil . . .

So, what’s Soup all about?

Soup is designed first and foremost to be a great night out. For £5, audiences get a bowl of fresh, locally made soup, bread, a wee slice of cake and music from three top acts from around Edinburgh. The centrepiece of the night is the pitches from local community groups, each getting five minutes to tell people about projects that need funding. The audience then votes for the one they like best, and the winner gets the pot of donations taken on the door (usually around £1,000).

Have arts groups pitched for funding?

Yes, Edinburgh Soup has welcomed speakers from various arts and cultural groups, including Raised Voices creative writing and drama group, art therapy charity the Teapot Trust, the Ally Bally Bee project which uses children’s literature to help explain dementia to youngsters, and Citadel Arts Group which creates theatre based on the living memories of local people in Leith.

How did you secure in-kind support from soup/bread/cake makers?

We’ve been very lucky in the support we’ve received from local businesses. By calling on all the contacts we have (including friends of friends of friends!) we’ve reached out to companies and simply asked if they would donate. Once they hear the idea, they’re usually very happy to help. Rabbie’s, the small tour company, has contributed to the pot of funding each time.

Union of Genius kindly provides soup, the Wee Boulangerie supplies delicious bread, and a new partner, All About Patisserie now provides cake. Vegware has helped with napkins and soup cups, and we’re always very grateful to Assembly Roxy for the use of the space.

What advice would you give to people hoping to start a Soup in their area?

Soups are springing up everywhere! All it takes is a little energy and inclination to get things rolling, and hopefully a few friends to lend a hand and help spread the word. Social media has helped things to snowball. We’re both happy to pass on the knowledge and experience we’ve gained, so if anyone wants to get in touch with us to have a chat, we’d be very glad to: [email protected]

Current ‘Soups’ across Scotland (could yours be next?)