Suicide Awareness Events in East Lothian

On 10th September, people from around the world will mark World Suicide Prevention Day, an event that promotes suicide awareness and efforts to prevent suicide.

2014_wspd_banner_englishIn 2011, 22 people took their own lives in East Lothian – the highest since 1991. This figure decreased the following year to 18 and fell further last year to 13*.

In East Lothian, a week long series of events is being organised by Christine Chambers, the Choose Life Co-ordinator for the county, in conjunction with CHANGES and Stepping Out.

This includes a daily broadcast on Radio Saltire which Brian Glass, CHANGES Choose Life Training Co-ordinator, explains: “Each day from Monday 8th until Friday 12th September, between 12 and 1pm, there will be input from those who have experienced suicidal thoughts – or a carer or a representative from a supporting organisation – presenting different perspectives on suicide prevention and raising awareness of the resources available throughout East Lothian.

If you can read between the lines, you can save lives. That’s the message that Brian hopes to get across at Thursday’s SafeTALK event at Musselburgh East Community Learning Centre. “We are running a three-hour training course which gives the attendess the skills to recognise when someone may have thoughts of suicide, and to connect that person to someone with suicide intervention skills.” Anyone wishing to book the course should email brian@changeschp.org.uk.

For those bereaved by suicide, there will be a special time for reflection in St Andrew’s Church, in Musselburgh. To find out more, call Christine 01620 820176.

A LONG WAY DOWNThe week culminates with a free screening of Pascal Chaumeil’s black comedy ‘A Long Way Down’ at the Masonic Hall in North Berwick, at 7p.m. on Friday 12th with an optional post-film discussion and drinks. For further information contact Nicky Fox (Stepping Out) Nicky.fox@btinternet.com Phone: 07966 535 514

To learn more about how Scotland aims to reduce suicide, or, if you are worried about yourself or someone else visit chooselife.net

(*figures from http://www.gro-scotland.gov.uk/statistics/theme/vital-events/deaths/suicides/tables-and-chart.html)

Organic September

This September, East Lothian retailers and producers are asking everyone to make a Small Change in their everyday lives, in order to make a Big Difference to our food and farming.

SA_SCBD_Food&Farming_Logo_RGB_AWThe Soil Association Scotland, the organisers of Organic September, is the UK’s leading membership charity campaigning for healthy, humane and sustainable food, farming and land use.

It is an ethos that Mike Callendar of East Coast Organics, firmly believes and is organising a farm visit on Sunday 14th September (1-4) to the Eco Farm near Morham (not the Boggs Holdings base).

“This is our yearly event for our members, customers, friends and anyone that is interested in sustainable food production. The whole event is a celebration for everyone that has believed in, and supported us over the past 18 years.

As always, it will be a fun day out for all the family with organic hot food and drinks and an organic market.  There will be tours of the farm, polytunnels, crops and orchard, a kids corner with goats, kunekune pigs, rare breed sheep, geese and ducks as well as a chance to play on a JCB digger.”

Always thinking of the environment, Mike is keen to encourage visitors to be eco-friendly “Please try and car share or cycle.  From Haddington head south to Gifford for 2 miles then take a left to Morham.  The Eco Farm is 300m on the left EH41 4PD”.

Cocoa beans may not grow in Scotland but the demand for organic chocolate is certainly growing. Ali & Friederike Gower, of The Chocolate Tree, who specialise in crafting artisan chocolate from their small factory in Haddington, have recently re-launched their range of premium organic chocolate, with amazing flavours like sea salt & caramel and brambles with cardamon.

To create their chocolate bars, they work with an organic certified couverture (a very high quality chocolate). The blend of cacao beans used to produce the chocolate is sustainably & ethically sourced from Dominican Republic and Costa Rica. Organic farming ensures the preservation of biodiversity in these very special parts of the world.

Although most often associated with the food industry, the organic label covers fashion and beauty too as Rosemary Renton from the Small World, suppliers of Fairtrade certified organic cotton bags & homewares, in Prestonpans, is keen to point out: “Most people think of cotton as ‘natural’ but only organic certified cotton is kind to the planet, the producer and the purchaser.  Conventionally produced cotton is an intensive process which accounts from almost one quarter of all the world’s insecticides.  This results in terrible conditions for the cotton growers and thousands of chemicals are used to turn raw material into the textiles that we put next to our skin every day.

By choosing organic we can all support a kinder, greener and more ethical way of living – from more bees and hedgerows, better animal welfare, and shorter more trustworthy supply chains.

For more information about Organic September, visit  www.soilassociation.org