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Upcoming Soul Food Volunteer Training

I wanted to dedicate a blog post to informing you of three important training sessions that we are hosting for Soul Food volunteers in the Autumn. Some of you may have already heard about them from the leaders of your Soul Food meals, but if you haven’t yet, all the details are below.

On Saturday October 7th 2023, (10am – 4:30pm), the anti-trafficking organisation, SOHTIS will be doing a day’s training for us. This training day is exceptionally pertinent to all our Soul Food meals. In the morning we will be shown how to recognise the signs of human trafficking and how to respond if we suspect that someone we meet is being exploited. In the afternoon, we will learn about the effects that trauma can have on a person, and using trauma informed best practice, we will discuss what it is to offer trauma informed spaces and be taught techniques that will help us to bring calm in order to de-escalate difficult situations.

You may wonder why it is necessary to receive training about human trafficking for our community meals? Well, human trafficking is possibly the most misunderstood crime in Scotland. We know that the buying and selling of men, women and children is happening in every Local Authority. Hidden in plain sight, the majority of victims go unnoticed despite accessing services like foodbanks, homeless hostels, drop-in centres and community meals. Human trafficking subjects’ people to some of the most degrading, violent, and fearful circumstances with profound and enduring effects.

We all have a role to play in ending trafficking and exploitation in our communities and the first step in being able to do this, is to find out more. This training will provide practical ideas and responses for us a individuals and Soul Food communities. To sign up for the training from SOHTIS simply click here.

On either Friday 29th September, 2023 (9:30am – 12pm) and Saturday 25th November, 2023 (10am – 12pm), Cal Gilchrist of Streetwork (Simon Community), will share with us the current drugs situation in Edinburgh. He will then train us on the importance of carrying naloxone and show us how to administer it. This is important training, and it would be great if regular Soul Food volunteers could take part.

Naloxone is a drug that can reverse the effects of opioids, such as, heroin, methadone, opium, codeine, morphine, and buprenorphine. A naloxone dose could save someone's life if it’s used quickly.

The number of people who died due to drug misuse in Scotland last year fell by 279 to the lowest level for five years. Figures from the National Records of Scotland show 1,051 people died due to drugs’ overdoses in 2022. This is a significant drop; however Scotland continues to have the worst drug death rate in the UK and the rest of Europe. One of the most tangible things that communities can do to engage in this issue is to be naloxone trained. Streetwork (Simon Community) have generously offered to give us regular naloxone training so that lots of Soul Food volunteers know how to potentially save the life of someone who is overdosing. To sign up for this training simply click here.

Please do get in touch if you have any questions. Email me, Jenny at I really look forward to seeing you at these training days and I thank you so much for all that you give to Soul Food meals to ensure that they are safe and welcoming.

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