Souping up your business plans

Thurrock Soup aims to help inspire social enterprise and business ideas from Thurrock residents and offer advice and support in starting a new business and in identifying funding.

These regular events offer local people an opportunity to pitch their ideas and win some start-up money if chosen as the best idea on the night.

To take part, participants are invited to treat themselves to a bowl of tasty soup and a roll for £5, all of which goes into a pot. The £5 also gives people the chance to vote for their preferred idea.

Previous Soup winners have received £100 to £200 to use towards setting up their business. In all, over £800 has been raised so far and ot all has been used to help new businesses start up!

One of these successes is “Smallzdeep”, a young musician who used his start-up fund to set-up a music studio here in Grays where he works with young people, sometimes from difficult backgrounds to help them to express themselves through music.

This is often helped by working with known artists and rising artists such as D’One. On Thursday 26 April there will be a special version of the Soup event – YOUTHINK! – aimed at young people aged 16 to 25 who have an inspirational idea.

This event will be held at Waves Restaurant, South Essex College in New Road Grays and will start at 5.30pm – everyone welcome!

Do you have a great idea? Would you like to start a business?

For more information and to book a place at an event or

Potential for a strong community

Potential for a strong community

I believe there is amazing potential in the people of the area. That’s why I became involved in Riverside Community – to work towards building a stronger community. We are a partnership of local residents and volunteers working together to run projects residents have told us they want to see -things such as Tribe by the Thames, a Bear Grylls-type youth club that meets at Grays Beach Park; the School of Social Entrepreneurs that provides focused support and training for new businesses that want to give something back to the community; or the Lightship Café which is run by volunteers and open all week long.

On these pages you will find information on these – and other – projects as well as details of how to get involved.

We’re all about delivering projects local people want to see, so I really want to hear your ideas for new projects to help improve the Riverside Community; anything from a celebratory summer street party to clearing up a neglected area; to an after school club.

You can get in touch by email at