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In April 2016, Wells Independents launched SOUP!, an event designed to support local charities and projects and at the same time have a bit of fun.   The quarterly programme of fund-raising lunches has so far benefitted almost 90 good causes in Wells and the surrounding area.   While eating delicious soup is part of the deal, there is much more to savour.  

How SOUP! works

How SOUP! works

£5 gets you delicious soup, fresh bread - and a vote.

At each SOUP! lunch there are four presentations on local Wells projects.   These range from charities, culture, regeneration, community, social justice, social enterprise, education, to technology and more.

After the presentations, the audience is encouraged to discuss and debate before voting.   They then vote on which project they think will benefit Wells and the surrounding area the most.

Whichever presenter gets the most votes wins half of the money collected at the door, to support their project going forward.   This can be as much as £350, including match-funding by sponsorship from a local business.   The runners-up share the other half.   So, all four go away with new funds but, most importantly, have all been given a platform to spread their word!

The winning good cause is invited back to a future SOUP! to share what has been achieved as a result of the funding, and the impact SOUP! has had.

Soup surpasses £5,500 in charitable donation

SOUP! on 6th April 2024

Saturday’s Wells SOUP! ended in a dead heat – for the first time at this grant-giving lunch which has supported almost 90 good causes since its launch in 2016.

So the Wells Independents team running the event gave two first prizes of £350 instead of one, made possible by the generous match-funding given by Bowley’s Garage of Westfield Road.   The prizes went to Sing2breathe, a singing group for people with lung conditions, and to Mendip Community Credit Union which provides savings accounts, affordable loans and encourages a “saving habit” among young people.

SOUP! April 6 2024.jpeg

SOUP! compere Paddy O'Hagan with, from left to right, Tamsin Smith, Sue Marland, Kim Robinson and Kate Lynch

Photograph and report by Philip Welch

But first on stage at the Connect Centre was Edgar Phillips who explained that the £350 he received at January’s SOUP! provided uplifting Art Experience Days to someone with poor mental health and a parent who had lost a child.

The first of April's applicants was Tamsin Smith from Wells’ International Music Exchange which organises WOWFest, a free Wells Orchestra Weekend for young performers, and which needed funding for an Ode to Beethoven free concert in Wells Cathedral on 20th July.

Then Sue Marland from Focus Counselling told how they offer affordable counselling in Wells to those who otherwise would be unable to manage the cost of ongoing sessions.   Sue said: “We are seeing 60 now but there are many more in need.”

Kate Lynch explained that Sing2breathe use techniques for breathing control and better posture through singing. They are based at the Priory Health Park but need to find another venue for their work.


Finally Kim Robinson of Mendip Community Credit Union told the 85 in the audience that their young savers are aged from seven-16 and that they want to buy the little ones piggy banks to start their saving habit. Members put a regular amount into their savings account and get a dividend at the end of the year.

The compere Paddy O’Hagan thanked Fresh & Good for making the two tasty soups, Burns the Bread for the rolls, Morrisons for the white wine, the Bishop’s Eye for the red wine and soft drinks, and Karen Young for making the beautiful flower arrangements on the tables.


Ross Young, who leads the Wells Independents SOUP! team, added: “And special thanks to the volunteers who make SOUP! possible.”

SOUP! support

The next Wells SOUP! will be on Saturday 6th July 2024 at the Elim Connect Centre in Wells.   Arrive 12.40pm for a 1pm start.

The final SOUP! for 2024 will be on the 5th October. 

Please email if you have any queries about SOUP!


SOUP! is a powerful tool to start conversations, enjoy yourself, make new contacts and improve where you live.

Wells SOUP! is supported by Fresh & Good, Wells Blue School, Burns the Bread, Morrisons and Bishop’s Eye – all of whom provide the food and beverages – and Mickey in the Market the flowers for the tables.


We are also extremely grateful to the companies who have ‘match funded’ (sponsored) SOUP!.


A full list of sponsors and the growing number of supported causes can be found below:

Present at SOUP!

How to apply to present at Wells SOUP!

SOUP! is a great way to raise money, tell people about your work, build community support and get connections to local resources that can help you carry out your project.


Once again, we are putting out an open call for groups from right across Wells and the local area to present at SOUP!   This call is open to all charities, not for profit organisations, Community Interest Companies, social enterprises and individuals.   The only condition is that any money raised is spent in Wells or the immediate surrounding area.  


You can apply to present at Wells SOUP! by using the form below:

Present at SOUP!

I'd like to present at SOUP!

About Your Group

Your Contact Details:

Faith groups can apply for community projects but not to promote their beliefs.   Organisations that are not selected to present and those that do not win the top award on the day will still be eligible for selection at future Wells SOUPs.

Please email if you have any queries about SOUP!

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