Bradford Soup, The Storehouse Cafe – 21st February 2019

I packed up my son Thomas into my car, and we drove in the dimming evening light, off to Bradford together to go to Bradford Soup at The Storehouse.

June and I had been to a Bradford Soup at The Storehouse Cafe together about a month ago. The principle is quite simple – and effective. You give £5 for the cost of soup and then charities pledge for small amounts of money, you cast a vote for the charity you wish to support, and then the collective money given for the soup is distributed accordingly.

But is was all very new to me the first time I went to Bradford Soup…I recall as I entered The Storehouse Cafe, someone greeted me with a bucket into which I threw my £2 and £1 coins. I was then presented with a small, penny size disc, which would be used later in the evening for casting my vote for the charity or venture I wanted to support. The presentations were deeply moving and very inspiring. The questions from the audience following each presentation were very probing, with detailed requests to know exactly how money would be spent. Once the presentations had taken place, we were invited to go up and get our soup (which was homemade at The Storehouse with donated food from local supermarkets and retailers) and then cast our vote with our little penny size token. I suppose there was about 15-20 of us at Bradford Soup that first night, so the money raised was approximately £100 – it was evident that this money would make a great deal of difference to the projects and ventures presented. Being at the Bradford Soup was excellent if a little unnerving for June and I; we had intended to present Blue Plaques ourselves that night, but at the last minute we were not included the schedule. What a relief! We realized through being on the sidelines at Bradford Soup that night, what the event really entailed, and how very professional and sincere each of the presentations had been and, if we were to pledge for some support for Blue Plaques of Intangible Experiences, it would require some very careful thought and preparation.

So we are back at Bradford Soup and it is Thursday 21st February, the event runs from 6.30pm-9pm. June and I when invited to do so, make our presentation. We are nervous, but we had some structure to our talk (no PowerPoint allowed!), scribbled onto small pieces of paper. I am pleased June had put together an order in which we would both speak. We did not really want to pledge for a lot of money, mainly to provide refreshments at our sessions at Great Horton Community Hall. What was was really key to us was the opportunity that Bradford Soup provided for us to network and possibly build up communications with other community groups who may be interested in being involved in Blue Plaques of Intangible Experiences. We had printed out little flyers which also promoted our community event at Great Horton Village Hall, to which we invited everyone in the room . Afterwards discussions developed, involving a possible development of Blue Plaques of Intangible Experiences at Bradford Media Museum. Quite touching that we should build this connection, as the Bradford Media Museum cafe, is the venue where June and I often meet up, to discuss our ideas, including a few months ago, Blue plaques of Intangible Experiences! This, as an outcome in itself was very positive and unexpected. As Thomas and I left the Storehouse we noticed the moon was huge bright and low. Thomas liked the way the moon appeared through the trees. He was very tired and we just about got home without Thomas falling asleep in the car.

This morning, as I write this, I receive a text from June – and we were lucky in receiving £100 last night at Bradford Soup (I left with Thomas before the announcements were made). A wonderful bonus to our project and the refreshments that we maybe able to provide – possibly more embroidery hoops too!

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