THURROCK SOUP 29th October 2020

Last month once again, local people across Thurrock were invited to have their business ideas turned into reality, thanks to the latest Thurrock Soup event.

Thurrock Soup events aim 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.

Due to current restrictions, we held this event on Zoom, to ensure that it is as much fun as usual we encouraged people to wear their Halloween Costumes, pour themselves a drink of choice and get in the mood.

Usually we provide refreshments and a vote for £5, this time there was already £300 in the ‘Soup Pot’ for the winner so we were off to a flying start.

Over 25 people joined us for the evening, many of whom took us up on the challenge to wear fancy dress!

There were 5 fantastic pitches;

Richard Bonsu- wants to use Music and Media to inspire and encourage young people

Katie Sparks- wants to open a ‘0 waste’ mobile unit

Jim Graham-wants to set up a ‘Mens Shed’ in Elm Road Open Space

Tina Holland-wants to open a Community Café in Grays Town Park

Dannielle Cronin- wants to open a Community Shop in Grays

And the winner is…..Dannielle Cronin, with the great idea to set up a Community Shop in Grays which will help to reduce food waste and help people who are struggling to buy food.

As a postscript, all of those who pitched their ideas on this virtual soup have since applied for and been awarded, further funding from UnLtd in Partnership with Riverside Community Big Local, in total over £12, 000! Well done all.

This event was hosted by Riverside Community Big Local in partnership with Thurrock Council’s Economic Development team and is open to all residents, businesses and voluntary sector organisations in Thurrock.

Do you have a great idea?

Contact; teresa@riversidecommunity.org.uk

Post Lockdown care for Planters

Volunteers have been working hard to brighten up the area around the Lightship Cafe at Grays Beach Park.

Led by local resident, Tricia Nicholls, new ornamental planters have been filled with plants and flowers and work has started on maintaining other planted areas.

Chair of the Lightship Cafe CIC, Tina Macklin, said;

“The Lightship Cafe relies on our dedicated volunteers to keep going. Tricia has recently joined us and has done a fantastic job brightening up the area outside the cafe.

Owing to Covid, we haven’t been able to do as much as we would have liked and have started late in the year – with Tricia’s help I am sure we will have a stunning floral display right through next summer.

Chair of the Riverside Community Big Local, which supports the Lightship Cafe added;

“We had a generous grant from Thurrock Council’s Community Environmental Development Fund to buy new, self watering, ornamental planters for the park. They are looking really good and the feedback from park users has been really positive.”

Successful Litter Pick

Volunteers from the Orchards Forum were out on Saturday clearing rubbish from the alleyways around Benson Road, Salisbury Road, Richmond Road and Kent Road.

Tina Holland, Chair of the Orchards Forum, and was one of the volunteers said;

“When we started clearing local alleyways, last year, we would need six council trucks an alley to take all the rubbish away. Today, after visiting numerous alleys around Benson Road, we didn’t quite fill one truck. What a fantastic difference the community has made by working together!

“We know other alleyways are not as clear as these and we will get round to them as soon as we can – as always, the more volunteers we have the more we can get done!”

Andy Blakey, Chair of the Riverside Community Big Local, said;

“This is another great effort from by our local community and I would like to thank each and every one for their time and effort – thanks as well to Antonio Rodrigues, from Thurrock Council for making sure the rubbish was taken away.

“Next month is the Great British September Clean when we will be out cleaning up grot spots around the Riverside Community area. If you know of an area that could do with a clean you can use the link below to add it to the list – you can also use the link to volunteer to help out with a clean up.”

see the Great British September Clean for how you can be involved

Thank You Benches installed

The Riverside Community Big Local has commissioned a number of benches to thank our NHS workers – and other volunteers – for all they have done to keep our communities as safe and well as possible during the Coronavirus crisis.

Chair of the Riverside Community Big Local, Andy Blakey, said;

“We have all been humbled by the work of all those who work in our NHS. We have seen nurses, doctors, paramedics – and so many other health and care workers – making enormous sacrifices and doing an incredible job in the most difficult circumstances imaginable.

“We wanted to make sure that all our key workers – and community volunteers – know just how grateful we are. We hope these benches are a very visible sign of our thanks and will continue demonstrate our admiration for many years to come.

“I also want to thank Thurrock Council for installing the benches for us.”

The benches can be found at Grays Beach Park, Elm Road Green Open Space, Grays Town Park and in Grays High Street.

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