Greyfriars Community Project

Grassmarket Mission and Greyfriars Community Project

Overall Project Report – February 2010

The Grassmarket Mission and Greyfriars Community Project[1] have formed a formal partnership and are jointly offering services out of a community centre in Edinburgh’s Grassmarket. The two bodies have set up a new independent organisation, known as the Grassmarket Community Project, to take over the organisational management and delivery of the joint services.[2] These services benefit from the partnership as it brings together the management and organisation of the project, increasing the overall capacity, knowledge and skill base.


In the lead up to 2009, through a series of community consultations and exercises the GCP steering group developed a new ethos and vision statement, taking into consideration what the current operations were and the direction the project was heading in. A new series of phrases were developed as a vision statement to encompass the project and define what it is trying to achieve.

Providing Sanctuary, Giving Support, Developing Skills

Providing Sanctuary in people’s lives is about welcoming people into a refuge, a place where they feel safe and free to be themselves away from the chaos in their lives and on the streets. A safe space can in itself be an avenue for overcoming addictions, fear, isolation, boredom and violence.

Giving Support to members of the community is in many ways similar to the gift economy of a family. GCP encourages everyone involved, volunteers, service users and local residents, to participate in the life of the community. Gift economy support is purposeful in two ways, as it gives out to individuals who need and encourages individuals to give back to the community they are helped from.

Although GCP does not offer key working support or counselling, the project aims to support volunteers and service users through training, advice, signposting and a caring environment.

Developing Skills among volunteers and service users alike, both practical and social, is an important step towards breaking cycles of isolation. GCP believes that creating and completing something with one’s hands creates something that is a unique and positive reflection of oneself, and is the first step on the process of repairing one’s self image.

It is through a regular practice of critically assessing these three values that GCP measures the success of its social goals.

[1] An outreach of Greyfriars Highland and Tollbooth Kirk

[2] The Grassmarket Community Project does not legally take over management of operations until spring 2010, where GCP is used in the report it is referring to the joint partnership of Grassmarket Mission and Greyfriars Community Project and not the legally constituted body of the Grassmarket Community Project.