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Huge cheers greeted the victory of a city youth club at the first Wells SOUP. This event launched on April 16th, 2016, and follows a similar but gentler pattern to TV’s Dragons’ Den with charities the beneficiaries rather than entrepreneurs.

Connect Youth Club made their pitch with three presenters – youth leader Judy Illingworth and two users of the club, 14-year-old Connor Holland and Addison Birt,  The packed audience at Seager Hall in Union Street were particularly impressed by the two lads and voted the club the winner.  Judy said their young people would decide how the £335 prize would be spent.

Four charities each made four-minute presentations without technology at Saturday’s event.  Wells Vineyard Storehouse came second and will use their £201 winnings to meet running costs for their food bank in Burcott Road which provided 3,600 meals for the needy last year.  Third were Wells Art Contemporary whose £134 will be spent on The Big Draw, which aims to get all the city drawing a feast of cakes to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday.  Fourth was the Lawrence Centre which supports frail and vulnerable people, including those with dementia.

“The range and breadth of needs presented at Wells SOUP should be an inspiration to us all,” said Paddy O’Hagan who acted as master of ceremonies.  “Thanks to everyone who came along and the volunteers from Wells Independents who organised the event which was huge fun and a great success.”

The soup was made by the Rotary Young Chefs of the Year at the Blue School kitchens while drinks and other food were donated by Waitrose, Morrisons and Fareshare, which distributes good surplus food from supermarkets.

The audience paid £5 each for soup, bread  with the £335 raised on the door being match-funded by Somerset Community Foundation to give a total of £670 for the charities.

Providing the background music was the Charlie Chambers band.