Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Third Soup Run Forum

May 21 2009
Report on the Soup Run Forum‘s June meeting The Soup Run Forum held their third meeting on Wednesday 7th June, to continue the discussion about soup runs. Some authorities in London don't hide their attempts to get rid of them. The last meeting, in November saw a big turnout of professionals and volunteers who were keen to discuss how to improve their help in giving food, hot drinks and provision to the needy. This time the forum, organised by Alastair Murray of Unleash, had a smaller turn out, although some, like Ciaran Quinn, who organises the 8pm run at Temple, had come all the way from Hayes to attend the meeting. Apart from the ludicrous 'Killing with Kindness' campaign, and various councils' efforts to restrict their work, the emphasis of forum was on three main themes: the A8 nationals issue; how to coordinate work to avoid over supply in single areas; and the recent meeting that Alastair Murray and Chris Peacock, of ASLAN, had with Westminster. They met Victoria van der Knaap, of the Council's Rough Sleeping and Street Activity Team. Murray told us about the talks between the two parties, saying: "There is a big gap between Westminster's ideal world and what I believe the Soup Run Forum members would find acceptable. Westminster would like there to be one or two runs targetting those rough sleepers who are "hard to reach" by going out very early or very late, and for there to be no queues of people for soup runs in the evenings." The idea that is being worked on is a 'good practice guide' for soup runs, which would entitle them to work with an informal approval of the Council. As Murray said, "Most of the more well established soup runs would agree that there is some overlap and over-provision... The idea that the Forum would agree what good practice guidelines should be, is to counter some of the criticism of soup runs, not just by Westminster, but by others in our conservative press." The Soup Run Forum aim to meet next in the late Autumn, with new ideas and experiences to share. While the campaigning against soup runs will continue, the people who attended the meeting confirmed they will continue their work, hoping to coordinate and establish contacts with the others in London.