"The first time, you're really on your own." The desperate plea of a mother whose grown up son was appearing in court for the first time ever. Not only was she trying to make sense of life when her whole world had fallen apart, but she was having to navigate the norms of an unfamiliar environment. "Where can you go?" "What is likely to happen?" Why can't I see my son?" So many questions, so little emotional energy.
This real experience was the inspiration for the development of the chaplaincy based 'Listening Service' at Edinburgh Sheriff Court. Our volunteers come from different faith backgrounds and are available for people of all faiths and none.
Volunteers offer a non-judgemental listening ear which has been warmly welcomed by court users and staff. After only six months the service is expanding rapidly, now with 30 volunteers, allowing listeners to be available five days a week.
We constantly need new people to join the project to provide what one court based Police Officer described as a 'godsend' in the life of the court. Our volunteers are thanked daily by staff and court users. Please help us equip our next group of volunteers.
The project is run by Edinburgh Inter-Faith Association and Edinburgh Churches Together.