Midlothian’s Soup2Go Initiative Scoops Award and Well Deserved Recognition at Midlothian Volunteer Awards 2023
Local employability initiative, Soup2Go, has been crowned winner of the Health and Wellbeing Award at the Midlothian Volunteer Awards in recognition of the benefits the project has brought to the local community and to the young people involved.
Soup2Go is a local project created by a group of young people aged 16-22 years old with support from Midlothian Council’s Communities, Lifelong Learning & Employability (CLLE) team. Funded by the No One Left Behind employability programme, Soup2Go provides homemade, filling soups free to local people to help during the cost of living crisis.
Providing positive pathways for unemployed young people
The young people behind the Soup2Go initiative were working with Midlothian Council’s CLLE team to gain employability skills, access training and find positive pathways into employment, further education or training.
Soup2Go brought these young people together to work as a team for the greater good while learning new skills, accessing training opportunities and gaining valuable experience for future job roles.
Helping the Community
Weekly meetings focussed on how the group could give back to their local community, support those who may be struggling with the cost of living crisis and food poverty while developing skills to benefit each group member in the future.
Deciding to help in ways that could improve people’s health and wellbeing, Soup2Go was born, offering a bowl of soup or a “bowl of kindness”, warmth and nutrition, and hopefully bring a smile to those who needed it.
Business Gateway Midlothian helped the group to set up the initiative, offering valuable insight into the running of a business, the different steps to setting up and the various policies, checks and training required for hospitality businesses.
Working as a team, Soup2Go has offered young people a sense of purpose, motivation and boosted their own wellbeing. Not only are they helping the community, they are learning how to cook great food on a budget and try flavours and ingredients they’ve never had before.
The Midlothian Volunteer Awards were held at Newbattle Abbey on 1st June, gathering hardworking volunteers, community organisations, social enterprise and charities under one roof to celebrate the successes of volunteers in the Third Sector.
Soup2Go won the Health & Wellbeing award, being recognised not just for the benefits they brought local residents but the positive training, skills and wellbeing brought to the young people involved. The level of engagement from the young people involved in Soup2Go has exceeded all expectations. The young team involved were all commended for the dedication and the motivation they brought to the enterprise, turning up enthusiastic, keen to learn and passionate about giving back to their community each week.
A socially conscious future for Soup2Go
After a fantastic start to the programme, an award win and many young people heading onto further training and jobs within hospitality, Soup2Go is looking ahead at the next steps to ensure they continue to support the local community and young people out of work.