A social care provider hosted a Soup Event at Westmead Day Centre to bring the community together and give local organisations the opportunity to raise awareness and pitch for funding for their community project.
The event, organised by Optalis, provided an opportunity for members of the community to listen to a variety of community project ideas. Through a secret ballot, attendees chose a project and were awarded with funds raised during the evening, match funded by Optalis, and will be later used by the winning organisation to invest in their ideas.
The idea of a Soup Event originated in Detroit and has since been introduced to communities across the UK. It is a crowdfunding event for local people and local causes. The main goal of this event was to support local projects in the Wokingham area.
In addition to raising vital funds, the event, held on 18 July, was also a chance to create community connections and networking opportunities. The evening inspired organisations that attended to build relationships and establish future collaborations.
Along with bread and refreshments, soup made by the Optalis Bridge that Gap café and Munchbox was also served at the event. Bridge that Gap café and Munchbox provide individuals with learning disabilities an opportunity to gain customer service skills by serving freshly made lunches whilst working towards paid employment.
This year, three local organisations attended the event with the purpose of ‘pitching’ their ideas to all attendees. The organisations were Wellbeing in Wokingham Action Group, who support the emotional and mental wellbeing of people in the Wokingham Borough; Kaleidoscopic UK, an organisation supporting families who have experienced domestic abuse in the area; and Building for the Future, a parent-led charity that provide activity, support and therapy for children with disabilities and/or additional needs and their families.
The winner of the night, Kaleidoscopic UK, hopes to use the donation to train five of their volunteers to facilitate the freedom programme for children who have experienced domestic abuse, an initiative not currently available in the area, as well as prevention classes in schools, services and other organisations.
Jodie Reichelt, Customer Experience Champion at Optalis, commented: “This event combined simplicity and purpose, by providing the opportunity for those who want to fulfil the potential of their community and make it a better place to live. We are delighted that it was a wonderfully rewarding evening which enabled organisations to meet each other and discuss ideas. We would also like to congratulate Kaleidoscopic UK on their win and wish them every success for the future.”
Vickie Robertson, owner and founder of Kaleidoscopic UK, added: “I am still speechless and so grateful for taking part in the event. It offered local organisations like Kaleidoscopic UK so many remarkable connections and it was incredible to have won. I would like to thank Optalis for the unique opportunity at their wonderful event.”
Optalis provides a variety of tailored care and support services to older people, people with dementia, learning disabilities and/or physical disability and mental health conditions.
For more information about Optalis, contact 0118 977 8600 or visit www.optalis.org.