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World Giving Day

We’re all familiar with Black Friday and Cyber Monday. For many, it’s a day filled with excitement around mind-boggling deals and those discounts of dreams! However, what many people don’t know much about is that just a day after all the shopping spree excitement has died down, we celebrate something called World Giving Day on the Tuesday directly after Cyber Monday. And it’s as simple as it sounds.

World Giving Day, otherwise known as Giving Tuesday, is a day intended for giving back in some shape or form. For us at OutsideIn, giving back to those who need it most is something that is integral to everything we believe in as a brand. So, to take part in this day centred around the act of giving was a complete no-brainer for us!

world giving day december giving back

However, we didn't just want to give anything. We wanted to create a plan that was highly intentional and that allowed us to work with other individuals and organisations who shared our desire to make a difference. To choose who these partners would be, we first had to think what would be the most effective form of giving…

After thinking long and hard, we decided that as the temperatures continue to drop further and further and winter quickly creeps up on us, the most comforting gift would be a warm meal made by caring hands and filled with nutritious and delicious foods and flavours - something like a good old bowl of soup! This led us to approach two incredible partners, both phenomenal in their own right! 

Our first partner is the wonderful Will Hughes who you may know better as What Willy Cook! Will’s energy and go-get-‘em attitude was so attractive to us and we were so excited to have his recipe wizardry on board. We asked Will to create a tasty dish that could be served to individuals experiencing homeless and that would both fill them up and leave them feeling warm from the inside out. Will took on the challenge and served us up a mouthwatering Miso Tomato Soup made from roasted vine tomatoes, infused with smokey Miso and decked out with chunky croutons and a drizzle of cream…Drooling? Us too.

what willy cook

With Will on our team we began a conversation with an organisation who knows soup better than anyone else - The Soup Kitchen. What may seem like an obvious choice as a charity partner actually had a great deal of thought behind it. What really drew us to the Soup Kitchen is their undying commitment to excellence. Led by the incredible Chef, Lauren Everet, each week the Soup Kitchen produces restaurant quality meals for the guests that line up from all around London.

As we began to speak to the Soup Kitchen about our plans to partner with them alongside Will, we learned that this partnership was far more important than we realised.

london soup kitchen giving back hot meals outsidein weareoi

Since the global pandemic tipped everyone’s lives upside down and the UK’s lockdown forced us all to shift our day-to-day routines in ways we never expected, the Soup Kitchen was met with an unprecedented problem: They were one of two kitchens that remained open throughout the whole of London. 

This meant that in just a few weeks, their numbers doubled and each day since the first lockdown, that number has continued to grow. This put an enormous amount of pressure on the Soup Kitchen because, not only did they have to produce more meals than ever before, they had to change a lot of their ways in doing so.

From giving their guests a dine-in experience, they had to pivot to a take-away-only service meaning new materials that, you guessed it, meant more costs to cover. Alongside the kitchen and financial pressures, many of the volunteers who the Soup Kitchen relied on to help serve their meals were unable to visit. And with more people and fewer hands to help, you can only imagine the added stress.

best quality meals london soup kitchen weareoi

Yet, whilst juggling all the curveballs and taking each day in its stride, the Soup Kitchen has continued to lovingly and willingly help those who call it a safe haven. Alex Brown, who is the Director of the Soup Kitchen, shared with us some of the stories of those who have come through their doors. These stories are laced with joy and heartache, resilience and strength and above all, a deep sense of humanity and a recognition of its existence within us all. 

For Alex, it was understanding that behind each of these individuals - regardless of their past struggles, their current circumstances or the misconceptions that cling to them - there is a human with a need for connection, a need for love, and a need to be recognised by fellow humans too. 

What we love about the Soup Kitchen is that, like us, they firmly believe that in order to change the face of homelessness near and far, we have to first humanise it. We have to be willing to step into the uncomfortable space of breaking the barriers of stereotypes and comfort zones that keep us apart and we have to choose to stand in the space that brings us together.

 

humanity togetherness weareoi outsidein

It is so easy to turn a blind eye to the down and out around us and to pretend issues such as homelessness do not exist. It is far more difficult to see the face, then learn the name, then hear the story. Yet, it is through this process of acknowledgement that we both educate ourselves and recognise the need right before us. 

Since opening its doors in 1985, the Soup Kitchen has not only met the needs of hungry stomachs looking to be filled, but it has filled the hearts of those looking to be loved. 

We are so proud to be partnering with this organisation and we are so hopeful that this World Giving Day, we will be able to continue to bring the outside in through the trusted hands of the team at the Soup Kitchen. 

To help raise money for the charity, we have designed and created a range of limited-edition collaboration merch that boasts our super team! All profits from the purchases of these items will go to the Soup Kitchen and the work they do day in and day out. 

hoodie what willy cook london soup kitchen

We have also created a donation link on our homepage. The function will be available between the 24th November and the 4th December and 100% of all donated funds will go to the Soup Kitchen. 

World Giving Day is just one isolated opportunity where we can give a helping hand but one day can be the catalyst for something great, something crazy, something a little bit inside out and something completely OutsideIn.

what willy cook soup kitchen outsidein

World Giving Day takes place on Tuesday, 1st December this year. Due to the national lockdown, we will be visiting the kitchen on Friday, 4th of December. On this day OutsideIn, Will Hughes and Chef Lauren Everet will feed guests with Will’s recipe and give each guest a care package containing items from our brand-new collection. This includes our specially designed Thermal Beanies and our thick Essential Oi socks - both of these are the most requested items from our charity partners as they are the simple essentials which often go unnoticed! These items will help each guest in a small but effective way as the winter season looms.

Stay connected to us across our social channels and subscribe to our mailing list to keep up to date about all that we are doing with the Soup Kitchen and for a special inside look into this very special collaboration.

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