Photo of people sitting around tables in the hall at SOUP

Over 60 people packed into the hall at DY1 on Stafford Street last night to be part of Dudley’s first ever grassroots micro-funding dinner hosted by Dudley SOUP.

On arrival everyone was asked for a £5 funding donation, which generated a £321 pot for local projects to pitch for. 11 people had submitted project ideas and 4 were selected by the SOUP team to pitch on the night. They each had 4 minutes to describe their idea, and were then asked 4 questions from people in the room.

Helen Garbett from Goodlife CIC explained why she wanted support to help people living with disability and their carers to lead fulfilling lives.

The Fizzogs described their roots in theatre for education and health, and challenges in bringing this kind of Forum Theatre to young people now.

Naqueeb Ahmed is seeking support for Studycise which targets children affected by poverty and without access to additional tuition to do well at school and live healthy lives.

Guy Holness invited people in the room to invest in environmental sustainability through his enterprise The UP-Cycle Shop, which in turn supports people of all ages to participate in creative and international projects through the Inspirational Network.

Dudley’s creative talents were showcased throughout the evening. There was beautiful live music from local singer/songwriter Jess Murdoch. The volunteers behind Artspace Dudley created a wonderful pop-up exhibition of local art. While deciding which project they wanted to vote for, people enjoyed food which had been contributed to the evening. Four people had made soup, others had made fresh bread or cakes, and more bread was donated by a local supermarket.

Photo of Guy Holness on stage with his wooden planters
Guy Holness pitching at Dudley SOUP

At the end of the evening the Dudley SOUP team announced the project with the most votes, which would receive the £321. It went to Guy and his UP-Cycle project. However SOUP isn’t all about the money. With 60 people in a room all sorts of connections, offers and exchanges can be made. Often these might actually be more useful to a project than cash. Detroit SOUP co-founder Amy Kaherl has explained: “SOUP isn’t about winners or losers, that’s just our capitalist way of making sense of it. All projects get what they need.”

The next Dudley SOUP dinner will take place on Thursday 1 December. Check out the website:, like Dudley SOUP on Facebook or follow @dudley_soup on Twitter for updates and information about how to put forward your idea to SOUP.

Dudley SOUP was catalysed by Dudley CVS staff leading A Place To and Active Citizens work in Dudley. One of many inspiring ideas we have helped bring to life in Dudley.  

Dudley’s first ever grassroots micro-funding dinner is a huge hit

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