York Soup: gladitorial philanthropy and world class broth.

PLANS to set up an ice-cream and waffle-making business in York have received a big cash boost.

Flourish York, a community interest company, won the proceeds of the sixth York Soup event, held in St Sampson’s Square on Monday evening.

They received £585, which will help them buy the equipment they need, to deliver their plans for the east side of York.

The group will be the tenant in a new community building in Hull Road Park, and will run it under the name Rooted In Tang Hall, in a three-year pilot project supported by City of York Council.

Local groups will be able to use the building, and York Flourish will run an enterprise making ice cream and waffles, to be sold in a café on the site. The venture will also provide training opportunities and routes into work for local people.

York Soup is a micro-funding event, inspired by the highly-successful Detroit Soup in the US. Diners at the York events pay £10 for a ticket, receive a soup meal, listen to pitches from several local community projects, and then vote on which one to support. Whichever project receives most votes receives all that night’s proceeds.

Previous events have been held in the Priory Street Centre, Theatre Royal and Spurriergate Centre. Monday’s was held as part of the York Food and Drink Festival, in the marquee in St Sampson’s Square.

Emily Abbott, who pitched for York Flourish, said afterwards: “This will pay for the equipment we need and to train the volunteers in how to become ice cream makers and waffle makers, so we can serve those in the café.

“Any profit the café makes will go back into the community. The bigger picture is that we will be giving people chances to get into work, such as by funding food hygiene courses and first aid. The aim is to support someone into paid work.

“I am over the moon. I thought was really interesting was that all three pitches were real community projects, and all three could work together, and I hope we do.”

Ivana Jakubkova and Seggy Segaran had pitched from St Nicks, for plans to host a series of sustainable food parties showing the merits of haybox cookers, and Kerry Briggs from the social enterprise Support For Success had pitched for funds to run healthy eating projects, particularly in Westfield.

The crowd also heard feedback from the winners of the previous event, Chilli Bon Bon, a dance and drama group run by and for people with learning difficulties. The group used its winnings to perform at a Northern Ballet event in July, and led Monday’s audience in a communal dance, to All Shook Up.

Joe Fennerty of York Food Circle supplied the bread, the soup was made by new business Tacoporium, and the event was compered by Greg McGee, of According To McGee art gallery in Tower Street. Said Greg, “What a night! A big thank you to Michael and Sarah for allowing us to surf in the waves left by the leviathan that is York Food and Drink Festival. I can’t think of anywhere else where the soup felt so much at home. This is unique entertainment. Community groups come and pitch their ideas for 3 minutes; you listen, you can ask questions to satisfy your burning curiosity and then, over soup and bread, you make your choice – who do you think should walk away with the accumulated admission fee. It’s the perfect night out! Philanthropy, fine fodder, and a frisson of power while you cast your vote.”

Gavin Aitchison, from the York Soup organising committee, said: “It’s always great at York Soup events to hear about such fantastic projects going on in the city, and to be able to give one of them such a boost. We’re all looking forward to seeing York Flourish’s plans come to fruition.”

If you are interested in York Soup events to organise future York Soup events, or want to register your interest in pitching at the next event, email yorksoupers@gmail.com

This article is from York Press:



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