UCLan organised crowd funding initiative sees Ingol group as winner
A children’s community singing group is the winner of a local crowd funding initiative organised by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).
Community Voices was one of four projects to pitch at the second Preston Soup event organised by the University’s Creative Communities Group (CCG) in partnership with other community organisations and hosted by the Intact Community Centre in Ingol. For a small donation, attendees receive a bowl of soup and a chance to vote on the community initiative they believe the city will benefit from the most.
Community Voices, based in Ingol, was set up three years ago for local children to come together and perform, raising fund throughout the year to put on an annual show. The £150 prize money will allow the group to raise funds for their costumes and go towards other equipment.
One of the founders of Community Voices, Tanya Brown, commented: “We set it up three years ago as we wanted something for the children in the area to do that was fun. The children are from age 5-16 from all types of backgrounds and we work hard all year towards a show."
We decided to pitch at the Preston Soup event because we saw it as a huge opportunity to raise some funds for costumes, but we came away with so much more than the prize.
“We decided to pitch at the Preston Soup event because we saw it as a huge opportunity to raise some funds for costumes, but we came away with so much more than the prize. We may have found a venue for our show and many different places to apply for funding so we are so grateful. I think Preston soup is a fantastic idea and I think it would be brilliant if it could be done on a bigger scale as the networking has helped so much.”
Other initiatives that pitched at Preston Soup were local cancer support group CancerHelp, Farringdon Park Community Centre and Art Therapist Marian Vickers. It is the second Soup event to take place in the city and is based on the original crowd funding model in Detroit where the community has raised more than £63,000 over the last six years. In addition to the prize money, Community Voices will also benefit from business and community support from UCLan’s Northern Lights and Phillip Parramore of GuideDot You Change Solutions.
Russell Hogarth, co-founder and chair of the UCLan Creative Communities Group, said: “The CCG helped to organise the event and in my eyes everyone was a winner on the night. We had a unique opportunity to listen to some tremendous presentations delivered by passionate and dedicated community members. But on the night somebody had to win and when the votes were counted and the winner announced it came as no surprise to me that Community Voices were the overall winners on the evening.
“In all my years of listening to community presentations it’s the first time an organisation, made up of mainly young children, has sung a presentation in close harmony and in perfect pitch. When their name was announced I don't know who cheered the loudest, the audience or the children. It was a fabulous evening; both humbling and heart-warming and a pleasure to be involved in.”
I am very proud to have been involved and will continue to support Preston Soup in the future and would encourage others get involved in the next event.
The soup and bread were made with sustainable ingredients provided by Recycling Lives and prepared and delivered by UCLan Catering.
Russell added: “I would like to thank CCG Manager Nigel Farnworth for his support as well as all the organisations who helped to make this event possible. Especially, Recycling Lives, UCLan Catering, GuideDotYou Change Solutions, Northern Lights and other Creative Communities Group members. Business in the Community, the Prince’s responsible business network, Intact community centre and the community networks all very kindly donated raffle prizes.”
Angela Hickey, Business Connector from Business in the Community, added: “I am very proud to have been involved and will continue to support Preston Soup in the future and would encourage others get involved in the next event – a fantastic opportunity to give something back and learn more about what’s happening in your community.”
Any community groups who would like to join the planning group or find out how to apply to present can get in touch via by calling 01772 894769 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org People can also follow the initiative on Twitter @Preston_Soup and find PrestonSoup on Facebook.
View images from the event on the UCLan Flickr gallery.