Social Care Curry Club

Love curry? Love social care? You are in!

Tag: london

Getting ready for our December eat-up

Well what do you know, you lovely curriers have surpassed our expectations yet again. Two days ago we received our 100th booking for the December eat-up which is taking place across the country on Thursday 5 December at 7pm. We now have 15 locations in the UK and one in Vancouver and it looks like the December eat-up may prove even more popular than September when we had over 200 people.

In alphabetical order, what follows are the locations, the venues and the hosts. If you click on the location it will pull up the booking page for that curry; click on the hosts names to get their twitter handles if you’d like to contact them directly about anything.

Baker Street at Cinnamon Spice with Jemima and Rich

Brighton at Chilli Pickle with Lucy and Susan

Dawley at Bengal Spice with Pete

Derby at Viceroy with LACDerby

Frome at Jhalmuri with Rachel

Leeds at Aagrah with Elly

Luton at Red Chilli with Age Concern Luton and Beth

Lye at Balti Bazaar with Paul and Kate

Newbury at Nawab with Rachael

Newcastle at Rani with Beverly

Oxford at Chutneys with Burcu

Preston at Kashti with Amanda

Sheffield at Aagrah with Patient OpinionCare Opinion and Paul

Tunbridge Wells at Turmeric Gold with Graham

Vancouver at Jambo Grill with Ernie

Wimbledon at Ahmed Tandoori with Chloë and Jo

From our perspective it’s the more the merrier when it comes to eat-ups. There are no minimum or maximum numbers, only two entry requirements – love social care and love curry, and as ever only one rule – no sales. So if you’d like to goto curry but can’t travel to any of the ones already organised then let us know where you’d like to hold it and we’ll add you to the list. More on what is involved is in our last blog post here.

We are fairly confident that we’ll open bookings to a number of eat-ups in the planning stages in the next week or so. These are likely to be in: Cambridge, Dundee and Liverpool. There is also talk of at least one in Wales, one in Canterbury, one in Hereford, one in Hertfordshire and one in Leicester – so do leave a comment or send us a tweet if you’re interested in any of these venues and we’ll do what we can to get them happening.

Here’s to a December eat-up to end the year on a high.

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December 5 eat-ups

Having just about recovered from the fun and games of #NCASC13 Social Care Curry Club eat-up, we’re now moving on to organising the next curry club eat-up proper. September saw over 200 people come together across the UK and Canada, to talk social care and eat curry. NCASC eat-up brought 80 people together in one place. We can’t wait to see what December holds.

So what’s next:
Step 1: At this stage we’re asking for volunteer hosts and locations.

Step 2: What we’ll then do is get out our map (yes, in case you’ve not noticed already one of us is very geographically challenged) and identify whether we think we can have all the eat-ups that are offered. From our perspective there really is no limit, so as long as there are two or three people interested in an area then that’s a viable eat-up.

Step 3: Once hosts and locations are agreed (if we get too many hosts offering for an area we’ll just arbitrarily pick), we’ll ask hosts to pick curry houses/venues and let us have them.

Step 4: Hosts will then be asked to book the venue and identify maximum capacity. As NCASC13 shows interest does fluctuate, so hosts may need to contact venues more than once between now and December to up the booking, but hopefully they’ll be delighted with that and it’s not too onerous for hosts.

Step 5: The next step is for us to set up eventbrite pages for each event and then it’s all about spreading the word and drumming up interest.

Then there’s some back room organising stuff that goes on, we’ll try to blog about hosts and introduce you to each other. We’ll also set up twitter lists to add to the ones already here. Then on the night people come together, eat curry, talk social care, don’t sell anything including themselves, network in real life and using the #socialcarecurry hashtag and an awesome time is had by all. There is no structure, there are no presentations, powerpoints, or podcasts. There are no seating plans or big introductions.

Learning from feedback – paying the bill!
Based on the feedback received last time the biggest challenge is settling the bill, and there were some people who were concerned about whether they could afford the evening, so where possible we’d like hosts to try and arrange a set price buffet. Don’t worry if this isn’t possible, but if it is then it’s easier to collect money on arrival, and means that people have more or less an idea of what they’re spending.

Who is on the hosting list already?
We’ve received offers of hosting from a few people already, definitely confirmed are:

Brighton @SocialWkBalance and @LucyJMarsters

Cambridge @Patient_Leader and @CookCare

Dawley @Pete62Jackson and @JakeSnr

Derby @LACDerby

Dundee @AnnaFowlieSSSC and @JonBolton

Frome @RachelMason247

Hertfordshire @3SpiritUKNZ

Leeds @Elly01

Liverpool @mdfdisability and @optionsempowers

London @BPotter38 and @Rich_W

Luton @AgeConcernLuton and @HWLuton_Chair

Newbury @WardellR

Newcastle @SparkySW

Preston @AMLTaylor66

Sheffield @PatientOpinion, @CareOpinion and @PaulSheps

Tunbridge Wells @GrahamShaw4

Vancouver @ejbaatz

We also had offers for Cambridge @Patient_Leader @CookCare, Leicester @StigmaArtUK, Luton @AgeConcernLuton @HWLuton_Chair, Lye @PaulJaunzems, Newcastle @SparkySW and Tunbridge Wells @GrahamShaw4 but will wait to have them reconfirmed before turning them into definites.

NB Edit: Cambridge, Luton, Newcastle and Tunbridge Wells now confirmed; Dawley, Derby, Hertfordshire and Leeds added.

So if you’re not on the list and would like to be, or there isn’t a location near you and you’d like there to be, then please add a comment or send us a tweet and we’ll add you to the list. The success of December is up for grabs, come on people, let’s do this.

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.

Screen Shot 2013-09-10 at 23.41.08

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.

Screen Shot 2013-09-10 at 23.54.15Screen Shot 2013-09-11 at 00.29.00Screen Shot 2013-09-11 at 00.12.49Screen Shot 2013-09-11 at 00.13.52Screen Shot 2013-09-11 at 00.32.14

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

Meet our volunteer hosts 2

Hosts 2This is the second post like this so you know the score by now, we introduce you to some of our wonderful amazing hosts so you know something about them. Today we’d like to introduce you to (L->R) Adelina, Ann, Guy, Jemima, Lisa and Paul and they’ve all been asked to answer the same three questions:

1) What’s your favourite curry?
2) What are you hoping to get from the night?
3) If you weren’t at your own eat-up where would you most like to be?

Adelina (Canterbury) @AdelinaCoHe
1. Brinjal Bhaji

2. Hoping to meet people who work on social care in Kent, I am sure I will learn a lot!

3. Doing the grape harvest in Mallorca, which is what I will be doing the night after the eat-up.

Ann (Dorchester) @asteroptions
1. Generally……Bombay aloo, chicken tikka, spinach bhaji plenty of popadoms pint of bangla please. I’m there…

2. Meeting new people: Good food good company good fun

3. In Southampton at Social Care Curry Club

Guy (Bristol) @GuyStenson
1. Goan Fish Curry

2. An enjoyable and relaxed evening with great food and good company, a chance to catch up with some old friends and meet some new faces

3. It has to be Leeds for me – although now that there is a Vancouver gathering I’d be very tempted by that one.

Jemima (London) @BPotter38
1. That’s got to be a lovely rich & spicy Dansak topped with some garlic & chillies….Yum, loving lentils!

2. The opportunity to chat about social care with lots of new people who share a love for social care, the majority being tweets I’ve not ever met in person so very excited to be taking part in what looks set to be a fab evening!

3. Now that’s a difficult one! Probably Scotland as I don’t get to visit as often as I did as a wee one (lovely Scottish mum from the highlands)

Lisa (Glasgow) @EllePats
1. I mostly love curries for the sundries. The best thing is a poppadom with spiced onions and lime pickle. Or a peshwari naan. Could you say pakora is a sundry? I love that too. Delicious.

2. What’s not to like? A chance to sit down, put the world to rights and have a good chat with people interested in similar things.

3. If I wasn’t at social care curry club, I’d likely be lying on the couch watching the rain pitter patter on the balcony. I’m loving the change of the seasons. It’s not that Autumn is my favourite – I just like the bits that are the in-betweeny stages – on the cusp of something else.

Paul (Chesterfield) @PaulSheps
1. My favourite curry is without doubt Tarka Dahl.

2. I was hoping to share my thoughts with like minded people people and learn from them what their main concerns are.

3. If I wasn’t at the eat up I would most like to be in Dubai at a very small restaurant called Ravi’s in Satwa where I first discovered Dahl some 30 years ago.

There are only a few hours left to book to attend next Thursday, so run over to eventbrite now if you wish to join us. We’ll try to introduce you to more hosts between now and next Thursday and we’ll also be asking you to share what you hope to get out of the evening, so get your thinking caps on!

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).

You’ve saved the date, now what?

When we decided to throw together Social Care Curry Club our intention was to have a roving club that wandered the country, with people travelling to wherever and whenever they could make. However people immediately started, and continued to ask, whether there would be a meeting near them. This has led to a slight change in format because we’re all about being user-centred!!

The plan now is that we will arrange and support one date a quarter, the next two are Thursday 5 September and Thursday 5 December, but we’re happy to promote or share other dates/times if people wish to have them. There have been some suggestions that these would work after or during particular events and conferences – fill your boots, just let us know and we’ll do what we can to share the info.

So, back to the September meet up. There has been interest from pretty much every area of the country to meet for curry. Some arrangements have been firmed up on twitter and we already know that there will be a Scottish Social Care Curry Club gathering in Glasgow – more on that in the next post. What follows is a series of polls to identify where else we should organise a meet up. All we need is an indication of which location you’d prefer – please only vote if you wish to attend that meet up, so you can only vote once in each poll, which will allow us to see if a meet up is viable in a particular area. Please don’t get offended about the geographical distinctions, we’ve picked places where members are or have talked about, if none of these areas work for you then let us know and we can arrange another poll to support you to arrange one in your local area.

Once we know where is looking popular we’ll look to identify local hosts who can a) guarantee they will be there b) suggest and book the venue and c) welcome people on the day. Some people have already volunteered but if you’d like to host a meet up then drop us a message on twitter. So, fingers on the buzzers, get voting people to determine where the curry will be had in September.