SoupFest is an annual festival of soup celebrating Bedfordshire’s talented chefs & raising money for the homeless at the same time. Local businesses and volunteers pull together in order to set up and run the one day event, selling homemade soup and bread to the public to raise funds for the homeless.
Local homeless organisations are invited to send representatives on the day. They are able to raise awareness about the services they provide, and listen to any concerns or queries the public might have about the rough sleepers in Bedford. They can also share information about how the public might be able to help alleviate some of the issues surrounding the homelessness issue in Bedford.
Local choirs and musicians perform throughout the day, entertaining the SoupFesters and encouraging them to stop a while and talk to each other, making new friends and reacquainting themselves with old ones.
It all happens on the first Tuesday of December in Bedford’s Harpur Square thanks to the kind permission of the Borough Council.
SoupFest was established by local businesswoman Emma Garrett in 2017 after she was inspired to do so by a similar event in Jersey, Channel Islands. All monies raised are distributed to support the local homeless population, via the various homeless organisations – grants of up to £250 can be applied for.
Please see the application form and guidance notes below, and details of how to apply for a small grant. If you would like the application form in another format, such as Word, please email email@example.com.
Please see below for details of all the awards that have been made to various groups by the Bedford Homeless Partnership using money raised at SoupFest:
|JustUs||to fund 10 places on training courses for support workers||£250|
|Emmaus Village Carlton||to fund soup & sandwiches for outreach in Bedford town centre||£250|
|ReUse Centre||to buy coat hangers & rails for their “Wrap Up Bedford” campaign, and to buy weighing scales for their “Feed Bedford” community larder||£250
|Smart Prebend Centre||to buy tables for their gardening project, and to help towards refurbishing the showers in the Day Centre||£250
|Salvation Army||to help towards the purchase of a washing machine & dryer so rough sleepers can wash their clothes||£250
|King’s Arms Project||to pay for replacement birth certificates & passports (for EEA nationals) so rough sleepers have ID to claim benefits
|YMCA Bedfordshire||to pay for starter packs for people moving into Weaver House hostel||£250|