Hungry for change: Edinburgh students open soup kitchen with a difference

The Refugee Community Kitchen is open every Tuesday from 12-2 pm. (Credit: EN4 News)

 

A group of Edinburgh University students have opened the city’s first Refugee Community Kitchen (RCK).

The weekly event, held inside the university’s on-campus chaplaincy, offers bowls of vegan soup and aims to provide the city’s refugees and those who are homeless a place to gather with the wider community.

“We decided to start the event originally as a part of a module we had in our business course to host an event, but we wanted it to be more meaningful than a one-off random event,” leading member Ella O’Reilly told EN4 News.

“While researching we came across RCK, it just really resonated with us all and here we are.

“It’s only our second week in doing this but it’s nice, it feels like we have a cute, wee growing community.”

Any money raised is put directly back into the core of Refugee Community Kitchen (RCK), giving more money and resources to other areas where the charity is based.

RCK has been serving food since 2015, starting off in Calais, France, but now reaching areas all across the globe.

The charity’s largest bases are found in Northern France and London.

Steve Bedlam, RCK co-founder, says:

“Not only do they [the charity] provide displaced or homeless people with hot meals, but they also give them a place to gather and connect.”

Edinburgh has a homeless population over over 3,000 people, while the city has welcomed more than 300 Syrian refugees since 2014,

To get involved in Edinburgh’s Refugee Community Kitchen head over to Edinburgh Universities Chaplaincy on a Tuesday between 12-2 pm.

Today’s local News

Emily Hewitt brings us today’s local news from Edinburgh and the surrounding areas. 

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New strategy announced to help Scottish refugees

Hundreds of refugees and asylum seekers have develop a new strategy to support those seeking safety in Scotland.

The New Scots Refugee Integration Strategy, endorsed by the United Nations, aims to help refugees settle into the country from their arrival. It’s committed to helping people rebuild their lives, integrate as part of the community and share their skills.

MSP Angela Constance tweeted her support this morning


The Scottish government, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, and the Scottish Refugee Council were all involved in its development.

A key policy is to ensure all those arriving in Scotland understand their rights, and know of the welfare benefits they are entitled to.

The initiative also focuses on granting better access to healthcare, education and employment opportunities.

Fire in the Jungle – Calais Refugee Camp Demolished

Monday, the day many have dreading, saw the begging of what is planned to be the end of the refugee camp in Calais – more commonly known as ‘The Jungle’.

The camp, situated in the North of France, is home to over 7,000 inhabitants who will now be moved to other locations across France.

The French authorities have detailed plans for moving the Jungle-dwellers out of the camp. 150 buses will carry the former inhabitants to new Welcome and Orientation Centres (CAOs) across France.

The police, the volunteers, and the refugees themselves have had many weeks to prepare for the move. It was hoped to be a swift and straight-forward operation.

Firefighters extinguish burning makeshift shelters and tents in the "Jungle" on the third day of the evacuation of migrants and their transfer to reception centers in France, as part of the dismantlement of the camp in Calais

But last night, flames spread over the Jungle as a fire blazed. One migrant was injured from a gas canister explosion. The fire may have been started by the migrants as a final act of defiance, or some believe it could have been started by activists.

Videos and pictures from today and yesterday have sparked outrage and debate on social media. Young people have been left without a place to sleep for the evening, as registration points close they are being told to go back to the camp – which is now in flames.

Many have voiced concerns for the minors at the camp, saying the Jungle should not have been demolished until there was a plan to protect their welfare.

Migrants look at burning makeshift shelters and tents in the "Jungle" on the third day of their evacuation as part of the dismantlement of the camp called the "Jungle" in Calais

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