Cycle to Syracuse commemorates the upcoming 30th anniversary since the Lockerbie air disaster. Dumfries based mental health charity, Soul Soup is proud to have been chosen to work with both the organisers and Lockerbie Academy on a valuable new community project.



Cycle to Syracuse is a three-part cycling event covering 3,238 miles and spanning three stages. The event seeks to remember those lost in the disaster and raise enough funds and awareness for Soul Soup to put in place a trained Soul Soup Counsellor at the Lockerbie Academy accessible to pupils and local young people.


A team of five cyclists will form the core group for the historic event aiming to complete the journey on behalf of those who could not, the team comprising of;

Brian Asher – Head Teacher, Lockerbie Academy

Colin Dorrance – Police Scotland and Lockerbie Resident

Paul Rae – Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Lockerbie Resident

David Walpole – Scottish Ambulance Service, Lockerbie

David Whalley – RAF Mountain Rescue Service (1988 at Lockerbie)


Linda McLachlan, Managing Director of Soul Soup stated, “We feel extremely privileged to be working with the Lockerbie Academy in providing a safe place for young people to explore life challenges and emotional well-being.


“It seems particularly poignant that many of the passengers were young people with their lives in front of them and we hope that this partnership will help honour the memory of the air disaster and work towards putting in place a positive mental health resource for young people in the Lockerbie area.”


Donations to commemorate the 259-people lost on the 21st December 1988 and fund this worthy community counselling facility can be made at; www.justgiving.com/fundraising/cycle-to-syracuse.


Key dates for the event: -

Stage 1 – Pupil Power (7th September to 10th October 2018)

Stage 2 - The Cairn to the Castle (Saturday 13th October 2018)

Stage 3 - SU600 (Friday 26th October to Thursday 1st November 2018)

More detailed information can be found on the Cycle to Syracuse site at; www.cycletosyracuse.com.


Updated: May 29, 2018

We're delighted to introduce a new specialist Training Academy in Dumfries and Galloway. This ground-breaking launch brings the very first COSCA counselling training facility to the region.


The COSCA (Counselling and Psychotherapy in Scotland) Certificate in Counselling Skills* adds to an already impressive range of existing Soul Soup training days which are run on a regular basis from their Dumfries offices.


The Certificate is designed for those who work or aspire to work in health and social care or other related fields, or for anyone who has a personal or professional interest in increasing their knowledge of active listening through self-awareness and personal development. The course consists of four modules, each 30-hours in duration and is studied part-time.

The charity plans to establish the Soul Soup Training Academy as a regional centre of excellence for mental health and wellbeing training. This is underpinned and driven by the diverse skills and experience of academics, qualified trainers and practitioners from counselling, youth work, criminology and psychology to offer a comprehensive range of courses for practitioners working in all sectors.


Soul Soup has a dedicated, fully accessible, light and airy training room which offers a comfortable, friendly environment to further your professional education whether that is to learn a new skill to support an existing job or an initial step to change career direction.

As a well-established local mental health charity, Soul Soup has been tirelessly working with 12-25 year olds across the region over the last 4 years and offer a range of services including free counselling, support and activities for young people and families. The Training Academy expands seamlessly on the charity’s ethos of supporting the mental health and well-being of young people in the area and working towards eradicating the stigma surrounding mental health.


Linda McLachlan, Managing Director of Soul Soup, said, “We’re very excited to bring this new course to Dumfries and Galloway. Soul Soup works hard to ensure we provide the very best counselling and support for our young people.


“The COSCA Counselling Skills Certificate perfectly complements our existing range of mental health and child sexual exploitation courses and goes a long way in working towards our vision of positive emotional health and well-being for all young people. Soul Soup’s goal is always to protect life; too many young lives are lost through misunderstanding or poor education around the needs of those suffering with mental health problems.”

Through the launch of the Training Academy Soul Soup is seeking to further raise awareness of mental health across the region through training others in identifying, supporting and helping people with mental health issues. Importantly the Academy will not only provide a professional service to delegates wanting to invest in their education, but also help fund the charity’s vital work with young people.


To find out more about Soul Soup Training Academy and the new COSCA Certificate in Counselling Skills course please see our Facebook Training page @soulsouptrainingacademy, email train@soulsoup.co.uk or call Soul Soup directly on 01387 266 667 and speak to Maureen Taylor, Training and Research Manager.

*(COSCA stands for Counselling and Psychotherapy in Scotland and is Scotland’s professional body for counselling and psychotherapy. COSCA Validation applied for)