Well done to our Soup Dragon’s Den winner Leyland Pain Support Group, who has been awarded £1,000 from our Community Investment Fund.

Our fantastic Soup Dragon’s Den event was held at St Mary’s Community Centre in Leyland, where seven community groups made their pitches to receive funding.

There were so many incredible projects pitching, but in the end, it was Leyland Pain Support Group that captured the hearts and the votes of the audience.

The group, which offers peer support for anyone in pain, was set up by Siobhan Walker after being diagnosed with a rare spinal condition, cauda equine, nearly two years ago. Siobhan will use the money to set up activities, such as swimming, exercise classes and coffee mornings.

She said: "I am thrilled to have won, but also shocked. There were so many great causes pitching for the money, all of which I would have been so pleased for if they'd won.

“I set up the Leyland Pain Support Group as my condition has not only left me in constant pain but feeling lonely. After the first week, the group had 100 members! Everyone was saying how pleased they were to finally find a group where they could engage with others who were going through the same thing.

“Thanks to the money from the Soup Dragon, I'm hoping to set up private and specialist sessions for members, such as swimming and exercise classes and coffee mornings, so we can all come together and support each other more. Thank you again to everyone who voted for us!"

We also want to congratulate the other community groups, Affinity Performing Arts, Fylde Food Community Hub, Hebden Court community garden, Leyland Knit and Knatter, St Mary’s Community Centre and Release CIC – Taboo Project, who will also receive funding of up to £200.

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Janet Malone pitching from St Mary's Community Centre


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A member of Knit and Knatter making their pitch 

Sam Beattie, Progress Involvement Officer, said: “I am pleased to say the evening was a great success and we want to thank everyone who turned up to support the community groups and charities.

"The event was made even more special as it was our first ‘in-person’ event in a long while – the soup and crumble were certainly worth the wait!

“There were some fantastic pitches throughout the night, showcasing all the inspirational work happening in our local communities.

"The audience once again had a tough decision to make, and we wish Leyland Pain Support Group all the best setting up their activities and coffee mornings.”

The event attracted a lot of support on the night, with more than 80 people turning up. It was also great to read everyone’s messages on social media.

We loved St Mary’s Community Centre Broadfield Walk's post on their Facebook page: “A massive thanks to everyone who attended Soup Dragon’s Den.

“Thanks to all of the people who shared amazing and heartfelt stories about their projects.

“Well done to the very deserving winner of the fund that will really help her going forward.

“It was a privilege to take part and a great, very informative and enjoyable evening.

“Special thanks to Progress Housing Group for having the event at the Community Centre and for the delicious supper offered.”

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Danni Shaw, Progress Activities Co-ordinator, enjoying the soup

If your group missed out this time, don’t worry as we are planning our next Soup Dragon’s Den event for November. Keep an eye out for more information in the autumn.

For more information about our Community Investment Fund, visit /community-investment/ or email the Progress Involvement Team at community@progressgroup.org.uk or call us on 03333 204 555.