A big step for The Academy of Dance

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The Academy of Dance in Kings Cross has received almost £400 to help them compete locally, which could pave the way for them to participate in international competitions.

Money for the group, which is located on Priory Green Estate,  came from the Project Soup, a social fundraising event. It was inspired by Detroit SOUP, which celebrates and supports creative projects in Detroit, Michigan.

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Photo credit: Stephanie Blundell


The idea is simple: people pay a fee to have soup, salad and bread and listen to four local groups discuss community projects they want funded. The attendees then vote on the project they think will be of most benefit to the area, and it receives the cash.

Forty people attended the venue at the Hugh Cubitt Community Centre, where tickets cost a minimum of £5. The money  – £370 in total – will help The Academy of Dance with travel expenses to participate in competitions.

“This money gives the kids a chance to compete for international titles,” said Stephanie Blundell, 28, who is community manager of the charity Small Works, which organises small projects of benefit to the community, and an organiser of the event. She was helped by James Baker from Project Dirt, a network that helps connect community and environmental projects.

The other three projects were:

  • The Claremont Project, which works primarily with lonely and isolated Islington residents to provide a multidisciplinary spectrum of services and activities. Its members asked for funding for their patio space.
  • Speak Street, a pop-up language cafe which provides fun English sessions at the Hugh Cubit Centre in conjunction with the Islington Bangladeshi Association. Its members asked for funding to hold additional sessions in March, April and May.
  • Artburst, an award-winning social enterprise which provides creative and educational workshops for families and young people based in Islington. Its members asked for free workshops to be funded.

“We’ve had one Soup already and are planning for more in the future,” said Sarah Mann, 34, social media and communications work for Clear Village and another event organiser.

Last year, Carlos Casimiro of Cally Stars Football Club won £230 to invest in new equipment for his team, which play in the Camden and Islington midweek youth league.

Project Soup is not only about fundraising: it’s also an opportunity to meet local neighbours, create a network and enjoy a nice soup together. The fundraising is in collaboration with Small Works King Cross, Project Dirt, Clear Village and Barnsbury Community Centre.

Photo credit: The Academy of Dance






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