Celebrating postivity with a tree

Group with Christmas Tree

Decorated Christmas TreeWe have a tree this year in this annual festival of Christmas trees for the first time. Nada Shawa, one of our Local Group, and her team of elves designed, created and hung decorations centred on the FfT logo. The result is a celebration of positivity in blue, white and silver. The Christmas Tree Festival is at St Andrew’s and St George’s West Church, George Street, EH2 2P. It is in the centre of Edinburgh so do drop in if you are nearby. You can visit, free, to see all 40 trees from now till December 24th – each day 10:00 till 18:00 and Thursdays till 21:00.

Carol Service for Missing People

Carol concert flyerWe are pleased to be able to share this information about a Carol Service being held at St Andrew’s and St George’s West Edinburgh to remember all those missing this Christmas. This will resonate with many of our supporters who know clients and ex-clients who are not able to be in touch with their loved ones, at Christmas or otherwise. We have strong connections with St Andrews and St George’s West Church and this is one more demonstration of their live commitment to issues affecting a wide range of people. You can book a seat here.

Warkworth Castle en-route through Northumberland

collage of images

Warkworth CastleThree of the Edinburgh Local Group cycled from Newcastle northwards as a recce for two of the stages of our Cycle against Torture in July 2019. The FfT North East group gave the cyclists a great send off and Simon Shailendra took some excellent photos. A wonderful two days was had and plans are in place for serious training once 2019 starts.  This pic was taken at Warkworth Castle, which is not about to fall down!

You can be part of this event in many ways – you can ride a bit of the way with us, you can arrange activities where we pass through and/or you can donate to our JustGiving page, or become a Team Member on that Team.  We can be contacted on cyclefft2019@gmail.com 

Cushions and poetry


Call Out for Cushions with poetry! Who’s up for customising a cushion for our Spoken Word event on 9th Feb so that people who are standing have a soft spot to plonk down on … all shapes , styles and sizes welcome , but ALL to be customised with some lines from a POEM you LOVE , sewn , scribbled , painted or printed onto a patch on the cushion (Don’t tell me you DON’T have an extra cushion or two kicking around )

At the end of the night , we’ll sell them to raise funds for Freedom from Torture!

If you can’t come on the night , your cushion can support someone else’s bahoochie. Email us on fftedinburgh@outlook.com if you fancy being part of this adventure.

Recce-ing of routes is underway

country road in autumn

Cyclist near stone bridgeCarolyn and Richard were lucky to get beautiful weather for most of their recce ride (for Cycle against Torture 2019) along the valley of the Tweed, from Melrose to Biggar, on Sunday 14 and Monday 15 October. The tree colours were at their best, the river was blue in the sunshine, and cheeks were a rosy autumnal hue also at times from tackling the rolling countryside! But on the whole this is a relatively flat and certainly very scenic stretch, almost all on quiet little roads, and has the added bonus of three lovely Borders towns: Melrose, then Peebles, then Biggar, each well stocked with cafes! Your recce riders concluded it will be one of the most lovely sections of the whole ride. Tweedbank station near Galashiels is near the start with connections to Edinburgh. 

We’ll be putting up general descriptions of each stage on this site with more detailed route information when the ride leaders have decided on the exact routing.

Spoken Word event now available for booking

Man running against a hopscotch wall
John Hegley

We are delighted to confirm that ‘From Bad to Verse‘ with John Hegley and Friends is now open for booking on Eventbrite. Sat 9th Feb 2019 – 7.30 pm till late.

This will be a magical night of poetry , music, storytelling and improv with top performance poet, comedian and songwriter JOHN HEGLEY and friends. Celebrating the transformative power of words, this event includes live music from R&B band Combo Combo and DJ set with Lizi Rascal .

Tickets are £15.00 (plus booking fee) and available through the Eventbrite page There is seating for 40 people on a first-come-first-served basis, with lots of standing room – so book early and get there in good time. There will be raffle so come ready for that excitement too. Fund-raising for the important work of Freedom from Torture.

We now have a short url for the booking page – https://tinyurl.com/Hegley2019

Are you a doctor? Want to help with our work?

Volunteer Doctor Vacancies – Newcastle & Glasgow

Freedom from Torture is currently recruiting doctors to produce medico-legal reports and document evidence of torture.  We have volunteer vacancies in all five of our centres and part-time salaried posts in the London and Manchester centres.

Training will be provided.  Candidates should have a minimum of five years full-time equivalent clinical experience post-qualification as a doctor.

Volunteer posts are for one day a fortnight for at least 2 years (minimum) and salaried posts are 7 hours per week.For more information visit:  https://www.freedomfromtorture.org/working-for-us/vacancies

Deadline: 30th October 2018

If you have any questions about the North East or Glasgow posts please don’t hesitate to contact Dr Dan Jary, Lead Doctor, Freedom from Torture North East and Scotland Centres

(please note that Dan is only in the office on Wednesday and Thursday)


A twitter account for Cycle2019

Twitter name - screenshotThe main objective of Cycle against Torture 2019 is to raise awareness of the work of Freedom from Torture and the reasons why that work is necessary. One way of making a lot of noise about that is Twitter and so we’ve set up a Twitter account for the cycle project. Amazingly, @cycle2019 was available and we’ve got it! If you are a tweeter, do follow and retweet us and generally help us to make a fuss about why torture is a real issue in the world and why we all need to take action.

Posing and cycle-planning

Two women in Edinburgh Botanics
Sam and Moira posing and planning.

Sam Riches from Lancaster took advantage of a visit to Edinburgh to catch up on the planning of Cycle against Torture 2019. Sam, pictured here with Moira Dunworth, Chair of Edinburgh Group, is key to the Lancaster stop on 16th July and has already connected with the Quaker Meeting there who are very involved too. The Quakers around the country are being wonderfully supportive and you’ll read more about that as the planning progresses. 

New volunteer – welcome Rhiannon!

people meeting in cafeWe are delighted to have Rhiannon Cajipe-Stansfield volunteer with our group. Rhiannon will help us out with social media in general and will also help with the publicity around our Spoken Word event on 9th February. It’s great to have a new person join our team as we badly need help with social media, website and general PR for our cause – raising the profile of the work of Freedom from Torture and the tragic need for that work. Here she is being briefed (and bribed with chocolate brownies) by Sally and Moira.