Social Care Curry Club

Love curry? Love social care? You are in!

Tag: birmingham

Social Care Curry Club September Round-Up

Wow, what to say, where to start. Thank you all so much for supporting such great Social Care Curry Club eat-ups last week. We are still buzzing at the enthusiasm, energy, commitment and positive vibes that surrounded our eat-ups across the UK and in Canada.

Ruth, the editor of Community Care pulled together a blog post the morning after the night before and we were delighted that Social Care Curry Club made it to their front page. You can read it here. What follows is a largely pictorial record of our first ever consecutive eat-ups. We would very much welcome your input too so please feel free to add a comment or tweet us your highlights, and of course any learning points, we are keen to keep improving.

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First up was Vancouver where Ernie hosted 16 friends and colleagues including

Screen Shot 2013-09-10 at 23.49.58Vancouver Vancouver’s conversation snapped by host @ejbaatz. Then once our Canadian curriers were tucked up in bed the UK action started to develop:

CardiffCardiff’s calm before the curry club storm snapped by co-host @spinjayGlasgow Mother India’s menu snapped by @BonklesoulGlasgowFashionAccompanied by some fashion advice from co-host @Iandubya snapped by @C_Lightowler Screen Shot 2013-09-10 at 23.58.46

SouthamptonPreserving twitter anonymity if required with amazing masks in Southampton! Snapped by host @JaxRaffertyLeeds The lovely Leeds curriers from @lo_jay

CanterburyCanterbury host @AdelinaCoHe with a curry that needed a big reveal! Taken by co-host @UK_JamesBrightonBrighton seemed rather posh with an amuse-bouche between courses, snapped by @IndeplivingLondon London however opted for a buffet, seen here in full swing, captured by host @BPotter38ManchesterManchester included a pair of newly-weds Mel and George snapped by co-host @Carey_Bamber along with a crowd of curriers ManchesterGroup BirminghamThe Birmingham contingent appear to have stuck to liquid refreshment!! Snapped by co-host @EddieC10 and in a later post we’ll share the result!

For now we’ll round this post off with some of the feedback tweets, please feel free to add your thoughts to this post too and don’t forget to pop 5 December into your diary now.

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Good luck curriers

When Matt and I initially discussed Social Care Curry Club we envisaged a handful of people coming together, to talk about social care and enjoy a curry. It was intended to be a relaxed and casual interaction, no presentations, no sales, no pitches, just people who cared about social care coming together.

We’ll let you into a badly kept secret now, we completely underestimated the appetite and interest that there would be. Times are hard, psychologically and financially, this isn’t exactly the best climate to try and introduce a concept of edible networking. Yet so far our simple idea has seemed to grab people’s attention. The proof will be in what happens over the next 24 hours and whether the appetite remains for future eat-ups, but if the interest so far is anything to go by we seem to be onto a good thing.

In two short months, when lots of people have been taking summer holidays and we’re always warned not to try and arrange anything, this has gone from a throwaway chat on twitter about who we’d most like to have curry with, and grown into the curry monster that it is today! So what does success look like so far? Well:

  • we have had a couple months of conversation about curry with some out of this world currytastic puns and now have 550 followers on twitter
  • we have been encouraged and supported by our network of curry lovers to grow this idea from a gathering that rotated around the UK to one that pops up anywhere globally
  • we have twenty volunteer hosts who will meet and greet on the night, who have liaised with curry houses and punters and carried the responsibility on their shoulders
  • we have had over three thousand hits on this blog so far
  • we have three spin offs that we know of @OTCurry, @PharmacyCurry and @SchGovCurry
  • we have contacted Norman Lamb and Aileen Campbell and are optimistically in negotiations about having a Social Care Curry Club eat-up in Westminter and Holyrood
  • we have twelve UK eat-ups in Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Canterbury, Cardiff, Chesterfield, Dorchester, Glasgow, Leeds, London, Manchester and Southampton, and
  • we have one international eat-up in Vancouver.

We are still getting bookings and expect one or two last minute cancellations, but at this point in time 233 people will come together tomorrow. That’s over two hundred people who love social care and curry and living testament that sometimes simple ideas work. Have a great curry night wherever you are and don’t forget the hashtag #socialcarecurry

September eat-ups names

Book now 5 September #socialcarecurry

Just want to start this post by saying a huge thank you to all of you for your support for Social Care Curry Club.

What started as a simple, but brilliant idea, of Matt’s has continued to grow and we’re delighted to let you know that there will now be eight consecutive eat-ups on the evening of 5 September. You can click on any of the following locations to be taken to the eventbrite page to reserve your space:

Birmingham – Blue Mango

Bristol – Myristica

Canterbury – Kashmir Tandoori

Glasgow – Mother India’s Cafe  STOP PRESS: Change of venue to Mother India

Leeds – Mumtaz

London – Chutneys

Manchester – Zouk

Southampton – Jehangir

We’d also like to say a huge thank you to all our volunteer hosts. Having hosts is quite an important part of the rapidly evolving model, on one level it means a local contact can book the curry house and saves us liaising with them all, and perhaps more importantly it means that everyone who turns up will be greeted by someone, which we hope will go some way towards encouraging anyone who is unsure about pitching up alone to just do so. So a huge thank you to: Adelina, Amanda, AngelaCareyEddie, GuyHelen, Lorna, Jackie, James, Jemima and Jon and if you feel like buying them a drink or a poppadom on the night I’m sure they’ll appreciate it.

Without wanting to get too PC about things, we’d like to mention language!! We really want Social Care Curry Club to be accessible and engaging to anyone who meets our criteria – Love curry? Love social care? You’re in! We are delighted that people are as enthused by this idea as we are, but we’d like to ask people to share information about curry club without ‘inviting people’. No-one is invited to social care curry, there are no invitations, you self invite! We’ve seen a few twitter interactions where people are concerned that they’re not ‘expert enough’ and others where they’ve ‘not been invited’. This is a fledgling venture, there are no social care curry experts here, there are no invitations, it’s really simple, if you love curry and love social care then please do come along. Any questions then please feel free to add them here, or talk to us on twitter @socialcarecurry or with any of the hosts above.

Finally, we’ll be using the hashtag #socialcarecurry in the run up and on the night to connect up between venues, if anyone can multitask enough to eat curry, chat and tweet. It also means that people who can’t make any of the actual eat-ups can join us remotely. We know it’s not ideal, it’s quite long for a hashtag, but hopefully it’s easy to remember and it will support engagement. So, over to you all to get booking. Thank you.

Let’s make this happen 5 September

I’m sure any of you reading this blog are already aware, but just in case you’re not, we have been delighted at the support and interest for Social Care Curry Club so far – there are already 10 people booked to attend the Scottish event in Glasgow and 73 votes were placed for preferred location across England.

Of course the proof of success will be in us actually getting the next eat-up organised for 5 September 2013. In our last post we asked people to indicate their preferred geographic location for gatherings. The votes have been counted and verified, two rogue votes have been identified (well the voters confessed, we’ll be honest there wasn’t much investigation) and they didn’t influence totals so we’ve left them in, and the results are as follows:

North 23 votes: 10 Manchester, 7 Preston, 5 Liverpool, 1 Don’t mind

Yorkshire 8 votes: 2 Bradford, 2 Leeds, 2 Sheffield, 1 York, 1 Don’t mind

Midlands 11 votes: 7 Birmingham, 1 Derby, 1 Leicester, 1 Wolverhampton, 1 Don’t mind

South West 5 votes: 2 Bristol, 1 Plymouth, 2 Don’t mind

South 8 votes: 4 Southampton, 1 Basingstoke, 3 Don’t mind

South East 18 votes: 11 London, 5 Canterbury, 2 Don’t mind

The next steps are down to you guys. We’re now looking for a ‘host’ in each of those regions, who can commit to attend in the place with the most votes. They will need to identify a curry house that will be open on 5 September.  Once that is decided let us know on twitter and we’ll set up the eventbrite pages allowing people to book tickets. This ensures you can book a big enough table.

There are two decisions that still need making – where to hold the event in Yorkshire – will wait for a host to volunteer and we’ll go with their preference. Also whether those who indicated Canterbury would like to join the London contingent or have a gathering of their own. Again I’ll wait to see if a host volunteers and take that as an indication.

Some people have already offered to help but we’ll wait for the next week before pleading with people/deciding where we have a choice, but please do let us know if you’d like to host (and if so in what region).

Following in the footsteps of the football league!

Disclaimer: I should start by warning you, or reassuring you, that my knowledge of football is far inferior to my knowledge of curry and that is about the only mention of football that this blog is likely to see!

Birmingham meet up: Last week Social Care Curry Club had it’s inaugural meeting, at Al Faisals, nestled smack in the middle of Birmingham’s balti triangle. Al Faisals was a great, authentic curry house that has set a high standard for future meet-ups. The food was fresh, tasty and served in huge portions and best of all it was really reasonably priced.

Who was there: We were a small but perfectly formed group, most of us had arranged to meet using twitter, but Elissa and Clare bravely just turned up on the evening and it was great to have a couple of surprise guests! You can see our lovely gang below, L-R from the front are Eddie, Andrea, Peter, Lorna, Matt, Guy, Elissa and Clare and I was hiding behind the camera.IMG_5758

What on earth did you talk about with all these strangers? First up, they’re not strangers, they’re just curry lovers you’ve yet to meet! If the first evening was anything to go by then if you were hoping to give your social care grey cells a work out, you wouldn’t be too disappointed but you might need to work hard to put the effort in to keeping people on track! So the words comprehensive spending review, budget cuts, integration, personalisation and safeguarding were all uttered, however they were just part of the conversation, alongside lots about who people were, why they loved social care, their preferences and love for curry and so on. If you’re looking for somewhere to cram for your forthcoming social care exam this might not be it, but if you’d like to crack a joke about Putting Pilau First (all credit to Richard Webb for that one) with people who understand why that is funny then this is the place for you! Let’s face it there aren’t too many social situations that let you crack social care jokes!

Hmmm, I’m still not sure about all this! That’s ok, we don’t blame you, we all take a bit of convincing. We think the best way to find out whether Social Care Curry Club is the right social for you is by coming along and giving it a go. The next meet up will take place on Thursday 5 September and so far it looks like there will be gatherings in Glasgow, London, Birmingham, somewhere north of Birmingham and south of Scotland, and somewhere in the Westcountry. Put the date in your diary now, follow this blog or follow us on twitter, and we’ll keep you posted as the details emerge. Take a look at the about page for answers to commonly asked questions.

Hang on, don’t disappear, what’s the title all about? Well, during the evening it was proudly proclaimed that all good things start in Birmingham and the evidence offered to back this bold claim came in the form of the example of the Football League (it’s true, wikipedia says so). Whether Social Care Curry Club will follow in the same footsteps only time will tell, but for now we are up and running. Thank you to Al Faisals for great food and thank you for those intrepid social care curry lovers who came along last week, hope to see you all again soon.

First meet up – Birmingham 4 July

We have been delighted with the enthusiasm that you social care types have responded to the offer of curry! There has been so much interest that we’ve decided to go for a soft launch, a sort of trial run, next week in Birmingham at Al Faisals. We appreciate that lots of people wont be able to travel to the West Midlands at such short notice, but if you can please do. You can book your tickets here, it doesn’t cost anything for a ticket (although you’ll need to fork out for your own food and drink) but booking will allow us to know numbers so we can get a table. You’ll also be able to see who else is coming:

Book your tickets for Birmingham now

We’ve had 30 responses to the survey about which night you prefer and the vast majority of people weren’t fussed, Thursdays snuck ahead as the second preference. So our current plan is to meet quarterly, on the first Thursday of the month. This means that the dates for the rest of this calendar year that you need to book out in your diary now are Thursday 5 September and Thursday 5 December. Given the geographic spread of interest we’re anticipating that we’ll have a number of meet ups on the same evening and we’ll connect between by hashtag on twitter if there’s appetite to do so. Of course you’re welcome to attend any meet up so you don’t just need to meet the same people each time.

If you can join us next week we’d love to see you, if not Matt and George will eat curry and chastise themselves for being so responsive/last minute in organising. More about the later dates in due course, watch this space.