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Southend Soup Success

      The first Southend Soup took place yesterday and it was an inspiring event, just read the flood of comments on Facebook. I have not seen and sensed so much positive vibes in a long time – apart maybe from when we are on the plot:).  Thank you to Sherry and her crew for organising it and preparing the tasty soup.
      Kate presented first on the SHARE project – food bank for Shoeburyness and their goal to gather funds for Christmas gifts for the 250 children who are supported by their project. They want to make it a special time for them and they are sensitive to their wishes and circumstances so were looking to buy each child a new gift appropriate to their age.  Kate and her groups work depends on peoples generousness and time sacrifice of volunteer’s not least Kate appearing as the Elf on the special day:) She gathered a round of applaus and some curious questions.
      Then I had the pleasure to present about the Southend in Transition Community Allotment which has been forming in our heads and paper (or Google Docs) for the last year. This was already a special day for our group as we finally put the shed up, the first and most important piece of infrastructure. The humble shed as a confirmation that the idea is turning into reality and a place which will shelter us from the vagaries of the next few months of weather.
      Taking inspiration from a pumpkin I picked that day and courage from Duncan, Adriana and Ross who attended with me I started the presentation with a “To Dig or Not to Dig” question and laid out what we are about. My heart was thumping but the positive mood of the space created by the people present was encouraging so I think I made myself understandable:).
      Then there was the time to mingle with others, make new connections, exchange stories. The event was special as those in attendance seemed all to be on the search for their mission or already displaying a passion for something and following their path.
      The soup was delicious! and Paul made sure I was even more happy thanks to drinks.
     Then Sherry read out the votes  – and taking inspiration from X factor judges waited for a minute in silence before doing it:) I did not believe at first that the crowd chose our project to receive the funds!!! and it was a close call but their congratulations finally got it home for me.
      It was great to receive the funds not at least as a show of appreciation of our idea but the event was so much more. It was also about starting new relationships with others (12 emails received for our newsletter),  networking and learning about other inspiring projects budding around Southend.
      Thank you again to all good people interested in our project and maybe see you soon on the plot:)
     Rounding the donation up, we received £130 we will use to purchase the resources for our projects which we cannot get by recycling stuff, lifting it out of a skip or by good, old begging. We normally dig into our pockets but this will be a welcome respite on the household budget.
Current breakdown
£20 donated to Kate’s SHARE project
£25.80 shed felt, sharp sand x 2 and nails
£18 for weed control fabric
leaving £66.2 in the pot.

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