Council Meeting 30th January 2016

In keeping with Souper Saturday’s open principles we have presented a slightly redacted version of the minutes form our recent Open Council Meeting. This meeting is open to everybody and seeks to review past performance as well as set goals for the future.

The minutes presented here are complete except that names and other privacy related details have been removed.

Souper Saturday Council Meeting

Meeting Date / Time: 14:00-16:00 | 30th January 2016
Location: Old St Paul’s
Attendees: 11 volunteers, 2 supported volunteers and 2 guests
Apologies: 3









Summary of 2015 (3min)– look ahead to 2016 (2min)



Policies update (5mins) open discussion (10 mins)



proposed art classes – vote



Funding update



Fareshare issues – vote



Media update



Feminine Hygiene product donations initiative






  1. SUMMARY OF 2015 / LOOK AHEAD TO 2016


Changes in 2015 include the development of St John’s Church, and moving across to Old St Paul’s. Benefits include a (welcomed) bigger kitchen and we have been able to cater for the growing number of people. There has been an increase in numbers of visitors since the move, with a rise in younger visitors. There is no more private outdoor space which was a good calming area to ask agitated visitors to go to for some time out, without sending them on to the street.


The atmosphere: A discussion grew on how to keep the room calmer, as disruptive behaviour in the bigger dining room has grown. This affects other visitors who have mentioned the rise in tensions.

The room is loud and echoey and there is no quiet space e.g. church pews in St John’s.

Having volunteers dispersed around the room has helped e.g. the tea and coffee station has moved. Next step will be to stop large groups pushing tables together, or in front of the fire exit.

The tone of the room has also been a learning curve for the congregation of St Paul’s, but Souper Saturday really appreciate the support and backing of the congregation.

Upcoming elections: the upcoming Scottish elections provide an opportunity to raise awareness of homelessness and social isolation issues, plus potential publicity for Souper Saturday.

It was decided that Souper Saturday should have a strategy plan with a clear list of aims that everyone can vocalise.

Volunteers can attend political rallies to raise awareness and to help raise awareness and create long term impact.

A vote was help on approaching MPs for support and awareness raising. 100% unanimous vote in favour.

Haircuts: Souper Saturday to contact hairdressing academies to see if student hairdressers would be willing to come offer their services.



Community radio station in Glasgow to be approached

Media email address to be created

Strategy plan to be agreed

Hair academies to be approached

Try to limit tables being pushed together


Drugs: everyone agreed that the use and dealing of drugs feels more apparent at St Paul’s compared to St John’s. Having a doorman and presence around the room is helping a bit, but it is still clear drugs are being exchanged and consumed, especially in the toilets. To be clear any drug use is prohibited on or directly outside of the premises. If anyone is found with drugs they will immediately be asked to leave. However, they can return again on a ‘yellow card’ basis and will be monitored. The visitor can also show steps toward entering into a programme of recovery, but it was deemed this is hard to keep track of.

Toilet monitoring: it was agreed (alongside point 7 – female hygiene) that regular toilet monitoring will be a preventative action to help combat drug use and/or exchange in the toilets. Toilet checking will be added to the rota to help designate it as a role, and it will be confirmed how often we check the room.

Harm reduction volunteer training: Volunteer training on several areas was brought up including general interaction with the guests, legal highs education and harm reduction. All of these were welcomed and will look to be arranged outside of the Saturday shift via a doodle poll.

Partnership with a support group: it was asked if it would help joining up with an Edinburgh support group to assist with the training. ??? is going to approach Crew 2000.

First aid courses: first aid training was also mentioned. It is expensive but it might be possible to apply for funding depending on education and employment status of the applicant. Further investigations needed.



Harm reduction training set-up (maybe with Crew 2000)

Harm reduction policy update

Sharps training

Legal Highs training

First aid course investigation


??? an artist (and friend of ???’s) has kindly offered to hold art classes for Souper Saturday visitors. These would not be able to occur on Saturdays and would need some experienced volunteers to attend. It might be tricky to organise logistically but it was agreed art therapy, for those who have been involved with it, has tremendous results.

This would not be open to everyone at first, but a select group as a pilot.

A vote was held for a pilot scheme, with 99% vote in favour.

This brought up the idea of having other activities within Souper Saturday to help ease the mood of the room and encourage interaction. We will seek to set up a Souper Saturday skills database as a way to identify potential activities. Other ideas included a colouring-in table, music (the piano could be used but currently it is used disruptively by visitors) and games. ??? knows an Edinburgh pianist who runs piano workshops which might work, she will approach him.



Pilot of art classes to be set up

Skills database to be checked

Other activities to be thought of



Approaching other companies: ??? has been approaching lots of different companies to ask if they can donate supplies. This includes Lush who have donated £300 worth of toiletries! Also have contacted Vidal Sassoon (for shampoo), Primark (for underwear), many stores for a free microwave (which it was mentioned we’d have to store somewhere). Lush have also offered to help with any future fundraiser.

It was decided ??? should have a Souper Saturday email address to do any further updates from. We should also set up a list of companies that have been approached and the outcome, so that we’re not duplicating our communications.

Support from St John’s & St Pauls: We are charity of the month at St John’s which is fantastic, meaning any donations to the congregation collection will go towards Souper Saturday.

???? to speak to Ian about setting this up for St Paul’s. However, it should be noted that we are very grateful for the already huge generosity.

Bingo: maybe organise a church bingo evening to help raise money, and also to help introduce the congregation to the volunteers more.

General: Souper Saturday has enough in the bank to cover food costs until April.

We spend an average of £20 per week on groceries e.g. milk and sugar

Fareshare costs are £21.60 per month, although this is paid up until April.

Main funding comes from the Scottish Government but the New Year funding hasn’t been mentioned yet. Once we are clearer on this we will look at next steps for fundraising and Fareshare purchases.



Souper Saturday email for ???

List to be created of companies already approached for donations


Depending on budget the Fareshare monthly purchase might need to be increased. The rise in guests is leading to a decrease in portion size.

??? is going to suspend the vote on raising the monthly spend until budgets are clearer.



Vote to be held at next meeting


    • Raising awareness is a big aim for 2016, and improving our media presence will help with this. The twitter account has grown substantially, with over 1500 followers. The Christmas collaboration with Cyreniens also helped with an article being published in the Edinburgh Evening News.

??? is going to open up the Souper Saturday Twitter account for all volunteers.

We will also have a media email address and a social media policy.

Great examples were given other ways to raise awareness, including the Big Issue portrait competition, which appeared on TV and the Last Supper picture at the Glasgow City Mission.

Charity collaboration: ??? is going to check that we’re on the free food list, and also to look at The Access Point. It would be good to invite street workers to visit Souper Saturday, which ??? offered to assist with.



Twitter log in details to be sent to everyone

Media strategy to be updated

Media email address to be set up

Street workers to be approached

Free food list and Axis point to be investigated


??? would like to introduce offering feminine hygiene products in the toilets. These would need to be donated or included in the budget of purchases. Currently ???? has kindly brought some in.

These will be kept in the toilet, and will be refilled regularly to prevent lots being taken at once. We want to prevent people having to come up and ask for them.

This will probably be included as part of the toilet monitoring rota.

Everyone agreed this is a great idea and welcome the addition to the Souper Saturday Service.

  1. AOB

  • Meetings will be tried to be held more regularly, and with more focused agendas e.g. fundraising.
  • Next meeting date agreed to be in 6 weeks’ time. Suggest Saturday 12th March.
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