Notts Soup expands remit to become danSoup (Derby and Notts) and is back for a very special online mental health edition during mental health awareness week
danSoup is bringing innovative members of the community together once again to share, connect and help fund great social projects that benefit Nottinghamshire and/or Derbyshire on Wednesday 20th May. Twice a year, in May and October, we run pitch nights to help fund great ideas that use arts activities to address mental health issues. By arts we mean creative endeavours of all kinds – so it could be craft activities, gardening, painting, drawing, photography, dance, poetry, music, pottery, sculpture, writing, performance etc. Attendees donate at least £5, usually for a bowl of tasty homemade soup, and listen to pitches for positive action or community projects. The audience vote for their favourite and the winner takes all of the donations. The current Covid-19 situation has presented even more challenging times so now is a more important time than ever for everybody to come together and support mental health initiatives. We will be bringing our event online via Zoom.
We can’t get together and give you a bowl of soup so instead we are inviting Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire food businesses to contribute a soup recipe to a lock-down e-cookbook. Everybody who buys a ticket for the event will receive a link to the cookbook following the event. There are no barriers to who can apply and even very early stage ideas are welcome. The initiative is inspired by Detroit Soup in the US and we have already raised over £4000 in Nottingham having hosted 7 Soups. We hope to raise even more now we are collaborating with Derbyshire too.
Nottingham artist, Kelly Ann Holmes kickstarted a fund, Hard Heads and Hang Ups in conjunction with THiNK in NG, specifically for Arts and Mental Health initiatives. In addition to the audience, we have an expert panel to ask the pitchers about their ideas and projects and offer suggestions and contacts, this includes Dr Theo Stickley, a trained mental health nurse & counsellor and world renown author & academic in approaches in Arts and Health, however it’s not the panel that decides who gets the money, the votes are down to the audience. So, put simply, £5 donation, four pitches, four minutes with some panel and audience questions.
Nottingham held their inaugural event in March 2017 and we will now be hosting our 8th Soup where we already have around £500 in the pot! We had a full house (over 80 people) for the first Hard Heads and Hang Ups event in October 2017. 4 people pitched great ideas to the crowd and an expert panel, everyone donated £5 for tasty soup and this cash together with a generous donation from Lubrizol made a pot of over £600. The winners were Beverley Burton and Alya Jameel with their project, Girls Empowered, running arts activity workshops for girls aged 10-16 to enhance confidence, self-belief and assertiveness. Other winning projects have also included workshops for dementia sufferers; a garden space for those who have had a child bereavement, an exhibition on the Art of Grief from Lets Talk About Loss, Craft Club, the allotment project, and Circus Skills workshops that use circus skills to help with confidence & mental health.
“Support from Notts Soup helped us to hold some sessions with girls 10 – 16 which we called ‘Girls Empowered’. We had a focus group session to explore their development priorities and
the sorts or activities the girls would like to do. We then integrated equipped2succeed workshops they had chosen with creative activities. The aim was to raise aspiration, build selfbelief and develop resilience to help the girls handle challenges. We saw the girls build their confidence, self-belief and develop a positive, can-do attitude.
The outcomes of the Girls Empowered project were so positive it led to many more empowering experiences for the girls. The girls were featured in the 2018 Women of Nottingham Exhibition celebrating 100 Years of the vote for women. It also led to a year long Girls Aiming High Programme. This culminated in an enterprise week and the girls creating a Women Aiming High Community Exhibition which was attended by Cllr Neghat Khan and the Lord Mayor. A Celebration Event recognised the achievements of confident young women.
I still get feedback from the girls who participated, and their mothers, to say what a positive difference the project had made. Some of their mums also decided to participate in equipped2succeed personal development programmes, as a result of the outcomes they saw with their daughters.”- Beverley Burton.
We already have around £500 in the pot towards this next event! This includes very generous donations from The Institute of Mental Health and Lubrizol. We need support encouraging local people and community groups to apply to pitch at this great event and to maximise attendance on the night. Taking care of our mental wellbeing and people in our communities, is more important than ever. Over half of adults right now are saying that the coronavirus crisis has negatively affected their wellbeing and nearly half report high levels of anxiety. Our grant can play a small, but important, part in helping people to manage their mental wellbeing over the coming months. You can help by sharing this information to anyone who could have a community impact, would benefit from a small pot of funding or encouraging more people to join us on the night.
Anybody can apply to pitch on May 20th and there is additional information on the event and how to pitch at www.thinkinng.org/dansoup and https://dansoup.eventbrite.co.uk. Applications to pitch need to be received by midnight Sunday 10th May 2020. . danSoup with Hard Heads and Hang Ups takes place at 6:45-9.30pm on Wednesday 20th May hosted by THiNK in NG online via Zoom. This will be during Mental Health Awareness Week. You can purchase your tickets online at https://dansoup.eventbrite.co.uk There will be further information provided on how to join the zoom link on the night once you have booked your ticket.