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.

Are you planning to ride a stage or more?

screenshot of JustGiving page

If you are planning to ride with us, why not set up your fundraising page now as a ‘team member’ and ask family and friends to sponsor your good intentions instead of socks, lovely though it is to have nice, new socks at Christmas-time?

Just click this link and it should be very easy – email us on cyclefft2019@gmail.com if you run into any problems.

Watch this space for a report from Moira, Heidi and Shelagh’s recce days on 17th and 18th November – brrr.

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

Women empowering Women

Group of people at the Book Festival

‘Women empowering Women’ is the theme of this evening’s Imprisoned Writers session at the Edinburgh Book Festival – 5.30 – 6.15pm. We, the Edinburgh Freedom from Torture group are honoured to be chairing this once more. We are the guests of Amnesty Scotland again this evening and are so proud to have this public association with them. Sonya Sceats, CEO of Freedom from Torture, will speak about the organisation and its work before heading back to London with her family. We are so grateful for her coming up to support our work in this way.

Imprisoned Writers events

We are looking forward to hearing from Freedom from Torture CEO, Sonya Sceats about the organisation and its work at the Edinburgh International Book Festival today. We are proud to host this (and tomorrow’s) Imprisoned Writers’ session and are excited about the line-up of authors who will read the work of our clients in the Write to Life group. This is such an important way of enabling those voices to be heard, in a world which increasingly seeks to stifle dissent in any form.

Our reading authors today are Mohammad Sabaaneh, A L Kennedy, Omar El Akkad and DJ Semtex. See you there!

Cake for Freedom from Torture

cake and bikesTraining for next July’s Cycle against Torture ride has started! Heidi and Moira cycled 25 miles from Edinburgh to a wonderful cafe in the village of Gifford – the Lanterne Rouge. Their scones are spectacular but this blueberry cake was even better. What a view we had out the window as we sat contemplating the 25 miles home. We took the train a bit of the way, so that was all right for this stage of the training. Send us your training stories and pics!

Greetings from Oxford

It’s lovely that other Freedom from Torture local groups are so engaged in our Cycle against Torture 2019 plans. Ann Gibson in Oxford sent this update today: 

“Members of the Oxford local group were delighted to meet Moira on 3 July  after her tough cycle ride from Milton Keynes to Oxford when she tried out the route – on a Brompton!  So, not for the faint-hearted in the heat that day.

We are already looking into the kind of event we can run in Oxford to welcome the cyclists after the Milton Keynes/Oxford leg of the Cycle Against Torture.  We look forward to putting on a bit of a show and gathering lots of our own local supporters.”