The Wokingham Paper

Soup for the community

For a £5 donation, visitors will be given soup and bread before voting on the community project of their choice.

WOKINGHAM residents can have their say on community project funding next week, whilst enjoying a bowl of soup.

The SOUP event — hosted by social care company Optalis — will give local residents the chance to vote for their favourite community project, Dragons’ Den style.

Charities supporting loneliness and social isolation, bereavement and mental health and wellbeing will all pitch to visitors, who will then cast their vote in a secret ballot.

The favourite charity will come away with the donation pot from the night. 

For a £5 donation, guests are treated to soup, bread and refreshments, which will be served at 6.30pm on Wednesday, February 26 at The Westmead Centre, on Rances Lane.

Winner of the first ever SOUP event, Vickie Robertson, was able to kick-start her domestic abuse charity Kaleidoscopic UK, following the £280 funding.

Ms Robinson said: “The SOUP event provided a wonderful opportunity to make some very useful connections. 

“Optalis was my good luck charm. Following the event our charity really took off and we have gone on to do some amazing work in the community. The funding I received made a huge difference to a project of this size.” 

Jodie Reichelt, head of engagement and customer experience at Optalis, added: “The SOUP event is a small but powerful way for people to show support for their community. 

“It is also a simple and accessible way for groups to access money for their social cause. We are urging local residents to come along, meet new people and get involved with choosing the next successful community project.”

SOUP events originate from Detroit where communities developed the idea of crowdfunding for local people and causes. 

This is the third event of its kind in Wokingham. 

For more information contact 0118 977 8600 or visit

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