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10 Year Anniversary: Jonny’s Memory of the Grassmarket Community Project

“By far the most striking thing about the GCP for me are our lunches together every day. Its a rare and possibly unique privilege for a CEO to sit down with the community, the members, the volunteers, students, staff (and even the odd random !) and hear their stories over a delicious 2 course meal. I love hearing daily about how important the project is to them and the difference it makes. I am also bowled over by the determination and strength of members who overcome huge personal and material challenges to come into the project to be with people that care about them. Its a miracle that some of them are there and I am always grateful they made it.

We share many laughs and many tears together over our lunch and enjoy the odd performance poetry – and of course lots of birthdays! We have held many silent vigils as well for tragically lost members to suicide, to illness, but also to victims of terrorism, to Grenfell and to others across the city, country and world. The humanity, compassion, strength and vulnerability I witness in that lunch room daily is overwhelming, inspirational and transformational. Few visitors to the project, that join us for lunch, leave that lunch room the same person as when they arrived.” – Jonny Kinross, CEO ( & Chief Birthday Cake eater!)

10 Year Anniversary: Gillian’s Memory of the Grassmarket Community Project

“One of my favourite things about the GCP is the monthly members meeting, that everyone can attend, where we talk about how things are going and what we need in the community. On a week-long trip to Camas Outdoor Activity Centre, whilst visiting Iona Abbey, some of us held an impromptu members meeting in the ruins of an old Nunnery, in the chapter house where the Nuns would have met too. We agreed things were going great! The residential trip gave many of us some space to reflect on our lives, take on some pretty big challenges (abseiling!!) and make new friends. A great experience that will stay with us for life.” – Gillian Couper, Fundraiser (& Abseiler!)

Volunteering for hope – celebrating our volunteers and community

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and throughout the year Volunteers and volunteering are what make the Grassmarket possible. Many of our members volunteer to re-build their lives or give their  life purpose and feel part of community. Many of our staff volunteer as well as work for us. So lets not let COVID -19 stop us from celebrating the contribution that volunteers make.

This year during #VolunteersWeek 1-7th June #VolunteerWeekScot we are taking part in the week in a unique way with an exciting project. We are asking all our members, volunteers and staff to make Origami Doves because we believe as a community that we should all be #VolunteeringForHope

The best video of the technique (though not in English but doesn’t matter as there is no talking)

Our staff will regularly be making them on social media and demonstrating. Instructions can also be found a on and below. We will send paper to everyone and more if people ask and then simply post them back free to us before Friday 5th June to: FREEPOST Grassmarket


Activities week commencing 27th April 2020

Despite everything we’re celebrating our 10 year anniversary! 
We celebrate the thousands of people who have been part of our community and story since 2010. Once we re-open there’ll be lots of opportunities to be part of this celebration meanwhile following on from our brilliant Burns supper that kicked off the year we continue with a ‘Me at 10 years Old’ social media campaign – check out our social media on twitter, facebook and Instagram for pictures of staff, volunteers and members. Send your photos to
We have loads of activities, daily on-line coffee mornings, catch ups and much more below.
Stay connected and please stay in touch.

Details are also here:
Access the activities below using the links or dial in by calling 0131 460 1196 [no zoom account required. No need to give your personal details]
Coffee Break – Monday to Friday at 1pm
Join everyday for a 20 minute coffee of lunch break together – could be the best 20 minutes of your day !
PASSWORD: Coffee if dialling in password: 954 214

Positive Mental Health – Mondays 2pm
Join Mike to talk about our mental health, how we keep safe, and how we look after ourselves.

if dialling in password: 510 153

Mindfullness & Meditation – Tuesdays 5pm
Join a Zoom ‘Mindfulness and Meditation’ session delivered by Ursula & Hannah click on 
Mind if dialling in password: 362 520

Open Book – Wednesdays 11.30am
Join Jess and the group. Read together. A lovely relaxed group.  

if dialling in password: 840 020

Choir – Wednesday 5pm

Join us for our Zoom Choir session led by Morgan click on below:
if dialling in password: 792 454

Community Catch Up – Thursdays 2pm
Join Graham for drop-in catch up chat session every week
if dialling in password: 479 011

Creative Writing – Friday 11am 
Join us for Creative Writing with Isela and Jess
if dialling in password: 430 751

Art – Friday 2pm
Join us for art activities with Judit. And if you need materials we will post them out to you.
if dialling in password: 725 259

Virtual Walking – By arrangement

Join someone for a virtual walk. 
A virtual walk is going for  a walk on your own (as per Government guidelines for 30 minutes) but we will call you and walk with you (but in another place of course)
All we need to know is when you are going for a walk and a volunteer or staff member will phone for a chat whilst you are walking.
 Call 0131 225 3626 to arrange or text 07860 021 262 or email Always leave your number if it goes to voicemail.

More positive listening and viewing and keep learning

Get involved in Open Book‘s amazing on line sessions – read all about it here:
Join Intersci Live at 6pm on Monday 27th April!

For their next online science chats they have Brianna, who will be talking about how the brain forms memories of past personal experiences, also known as episodic memories. She will share the cutting-edge techniques she uses to understand how the brain binds together different information and also how this process deteriorates in Alzheimer’s disease.

Join in the stream here:

FREE Online Courses

Alison offers a variety of free course types including certificate, diploma and learning path courses each designed to help inspire you through a new hobby or career path.
They offer thousands of courses across 14 different course types from languages, IT and business to software engineering, skilled trades and marketing. Courses start at two hours long. With each completed course Alison awards a certificate of completion. One of our members highly recommends these courses.

Enjoy !

Got any recommendations? send them in to us.

Take Care and be safe.

Do not feel alone – keep in contact with people that care about you.
If you would like a call from time to time or would would like more information on what we do at the GCP please call 0131 225 3626 or text 07860 021 262 or email info@grassmarket.orgFor more info on how to use zoom please go to for instructions and a wee videoJoin for chat and say hi ! [it works a bit like whatsap]

Volunteering Opportunities #ScotlandCares
If you want to volunteer to help the NHS, charities, communities or people cope with Corona COVID-19 Virus or support the most vulnerable then have a look at the Volunteer Edinburgh website, there are some great opportunities: 

Self-Isolation: A Survival Guide from an Experienced Member

Stephen, a member of the Grassmarket Community Project, has a very rare medical condition which means some of his bones are weaker than they should be. He has had no fewer than ten operations in the past eleven years and so has plenty of experience of self isolating. During this time he enjoyed temporary work contracts, undertaking voluntary work and completed a degree in Psychology through the Open University.  He has enjoyed being part of the Grassmarket Community Project, believing it to be a supportive environment which offers a very wide range of activities, from trips out, to training courses, to film showings, science talks, mindfulness and many other classes. Here, ,Stephen shares his top tips and insights which our members, and all of us, may find useful. [with a few of GCP’s team comments in brackets!]

Keep in touch

This is really important to tackle loneliness. You can keep in touch with family and friends in various ways, phone, e-mail, text, social media, Skype, zoom etc. Maybe reconnect with old friends you haven’t heard from in a while. [The Grassmarket also offers a variety of ways you can keep in touch with friends, colleagues and volunteers (click here for more information)]

Make a Plan

Every evening make a plan of things you wish to do the next day. There might be some DIY you never got around to, odd jobs that need done in the home or garden or clearing out a cupboard or wardrobe. Maybe start reading that book you meant to. [share your plans with the GCP – they’d love to hear them!]

Exercise Daily

Exercise is really important to your physical and mental health. Make sure you get some exercise daily in your local area, applying social distancing guidelines and get some fresh air. There are also online exercising classes you can participate at home. [Current Government advice is that you can undertake 30 minutes to 1 hour of exercise – walking, jogging, cycling a day if you do it alone or with 1 member of your household or family you live with – exercise is critical – get in touch with the GCP if you want to go for a ‘virtual’ walk ‘with’ a volunteer or staffmember. All you need is access to a mobile phone and we’ll call you and walk ‘together’ in different places but we can chat at the same time].

Watch what you eat

It is easy when staying at home just to slouch in front of your TV and eat rubbish. However, this will just increase your weight and reduce your energy levels. Look to maintain a healthy diet. [a free healthy meal service is available from GCP delivered 3 days a week if this helps] 

Keep learning

A good use of your time is to learn. There are lots of courses available online, many of them free. Maybe take a course which will add skills to your business or job and/or something you find interesting, like a hobby or learning a new language. [GCP is running 5 classes a week – all free and all open to everyone – (click here for more information)]

Don’t gouge on the news !

It is tempting just to sit on the sofa and watch the terrible news about the virus. It can be depressing and dis-empowering. Though it is important to keep up to date with the latest developments and advice. Aim for a happy medium.

Volunteer if you can

If you are in a position, volunteering for a charity or other organisation is a great use of your time and will really be appreciated by all and build a community spirit. [GCP are looking for virtual walkers and people happy to call other people, just one way you can volunteer. You can also contact Volunteer Edinburgh who list volunteering opportunities in the current COVID crisis and lockdown]

Applaud the NHS

Quite simply it is the right thing to do. It builds community spirit and gives a sense of us all being in it together – this takes place on Thursdays at 8pm.

(c) 2020  The grassmarket Community Project gratefully acknowledges the support of Stephen and all our members and volunteers. If you have anything you’d like to share to help people or encourage or build community email 


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