Dewsbury Soup #3 took place on Thursday 24th January 2019. We were hosted by KAL at Dewsbury Sports Centre. As usual, four organisations pitched – Kumon Y’all; Juniper Foods; Howlands and Active Kidz. They were certainly diverse projects – from befriending the elderly to providing slow cookers with training and basic ingredients; from art activities for disabled adults to relaxation classes for children. All with one key aim – to provide a specific benefit to the people of North Kirklees. All four had four minutes to explain what they proposed to do with the money, and the audience then asked each group four questions. They also had stalls to share further what they do and talk to people who wanted more information than can be covered in four minutes.
The pitches had already been judged by a team a local residents – that’s how they get their slot on the night. But the real decision is made by those in the room. The £5 entrance fee entitles each person to a voting chip and a bowl of soup. While eating their soup (served by the team from Schnacko’s Shack who pitched at the first Dewsbury Soup) they need to decide who to vote for. Whoever gets the most votes takes the entire pot of money raised on the night – including raffle and refreshment takings.
The audience are a mix of regulars who know about Soup and have been to previous events – ours or in other locations, supporters of the groups who are pitching, people who have previously pitched, and people who are enjoying an evening out while giving something back to the community. Entertainment was provided by the very talented Zara Martyn, who also performed at our last Dewsbury Soup. Take Ten and Batley BATS also talked about the benefits they have gained from pitching at Dewsbury Soup – there are many by-products aside from just winning the pot, particularly around raising their profile. Several people who have pitched but not won have received sponsorship for their project anyway, and increased their network.
We were pleased to be joined by Paula Sherriff MP who had planned a visit to Dewsbury Soup around a busy schedule in Westminster – she is very keen to support the concept and is promoting it for us. The final result is always eagerly anticipated – and the counting of the votes & the money are left until the latest point possible. On this occasion Kumon Y’all won the pot of £414 – which included a generous donation from Dewsbury Chamber of Trade. But other pitchers were also offered support on the night and further generous offers were made on Twitter the following day.
We couldn’t do this without our supporters – KAL, Asda, Tesco, PPG, Arthouse, Dewsbury Chamber of Trade – and to add a new supporter to our list, Shackletons who have offered to host our next Dewsbury Soup. This is a milestone for us – the first one to be hosted by a private enterprise. And to have it in the calendar before we finished the last one. If you haven’t heard already, it will be on 2nd May at 6.30 – tickets can be booked here and pitches must be received by 4th April to give the judges time to review them without Easter Holidays getting in the way. For more details, visit www.dewsburysoup.org.uk or email us firstname.lastname@example.org.