Souper Saturday helps homeless and otherwise vulnerable people in Edinburgh by providing a basic meal and complex social interaction in a relaxed and non-judgemental environment.
The project was started by Mark Diver through his volunteering work with The Big Issue office in Edinburgh. He was asked to organise a Friday afternoon soup kitchen for Big Issue vendors (Biggish Soup). However this didn't quite take off as the vendors were often unable to leave their work to eat soup! When the Big Issue decided to stop the project St John’s asked Mark if he would be interested in using the kitchen space for any other purpose and Souper Saturday was born.
The food is a minor part of what we do. The social interaction is the part that’s most appreciated: visitors are treated as people rather than “homeless people”. We drink tea from proper mugs and not polystyrene; we all sit round a big table together; we chat as equals.