Grassmarket Community Project has been developed in partnership by Greyfriars Kirk (Church of Scotland) and the Grassmarket Mission. The Grassmarket Mission was founded in 1890 and has historically provided a variety of services to homeless people in the Grassmarket area of Edinburgh where they traditionally gathered. The two partners have been working alongside each other since 1982 and have developed the joint Project over the last 30 years working out of the building previously used as Greyfriars’ church halls. Grassmarket Community Project was formed as a stand-alone charity in 2010 by the two partners, to take forward the vision, mission and work they had established.
Grassmarket Community Project takes an innovative approach to creating community and providing sanctuary and support to participants, many of whom are amongst the most vulnerable of our citizens. Through mentoring, social enterprise, training and education in a nurturing environment, the Project develops skills which enable participants to develop to their full potential and move away from cycles of failure.
For us Social Enterprise is core to our sustainability as an organisation. Although our roots are in working with people who were traditionally homeless, we have realised that community has a wider definition and we now work with people who experience mental/physical health issues and learning support needs.
As well as operating a community café and woodwork and tartan social enterprises, the Grassmarket Community Project offers a range of social integration and educational activities for members aimed at enhancing life skills and developing confidence. These include cookery and baking classes, art, drama, IT, reading and writing, sewing and photography.
The project also offers a drop-in free meal service on a Monday from 5:00pm to 6:30pm which is open to anyone in the wider community.