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Join our awesome catering team and help us increase our social impact

Join our amazing ever expanding team and cook not just for customers (though that can be satisfying enough) but as part of our vision to help people re-connect with themselves, others and the wider society. Go home each day knowing you have made a huge difference to the lives of some of Edinburgh’s most vulnerable and socially isolated. You’ll love working for our organisation – dont take our word for it – we have one of the lowest staff turnover rates ion the catering industry.

We are recruiting a Kitchen Supervisor for an immediate start…

The basics are: Working from our HQ – The mulit-award winning Grassmarket Centre 86 Candlemaker Row, Edinburgh (and occasionally other locations as required) with a salary of £20k pa working 35 hours including days, evenings & weekends.

CLOSING DEADLINE: 9am Monday 28th August 2017 

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Role Purpose

To take day to day responsibility for the many aspects of our diverse kitchen, which caters for our daily lunch and social enterprise café and provides catering for our in-house and outside events, the role also involves supporting several cookery/bakery classes.

Key Tasks and Responsibilities


  • To work alongside our volunteers/ adults with support needs to consistently provide a wholesome fresh 2 course meal daily for our centre members.
  • To be responsible for the planning, preparation, quality and presentation of food orders for the café .
  • Cater for events both in-house and outside, ensuring that customer expectations are exceeded.
  • To assist in planning and organising a 4 week rotational lunch menu and café menu within budget.
  • To work alongside our current staff, members and volunteers to develop their culinary skills.
  • To plan and teach a weekly cooking class, to vulnerable adults and increasing their confidence in the kitchen.
  • To be responsible for budget, stock ordering and stock control.
  • To maintain a high standard in personal appearance and demeanour
  • To ensure that all HACCP & COSHH systems are maintained, along with Health & Safety procedures
  • To follow the instructions given and implement the requirements of the customer as detailed by the Catering Manager and  Chief Executive in their absence.

Personal Requirements


  • Minimum of intermediate food hygiene certificate.
  • High levels of cleanliness and Hygiene
  • Passion for food.
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Good communication skills
  • Have good Knowledge of food safety systems.
  • Ability to work with a wide range of people staff/volunteers/ members
  • A warm, patient and friendly approach
  • A flexible approach and ability to cope with change
  • Ability to follow instructions, seek guidance and follow a task through.
  • A good level of fitness and health due to the physical nature of working events.


  • Knowledge and experience of working with vulnerable adults
  • City & Guilds 706 (parts 1 & 2 ) or NVQ Equivalent

Terms and Conditions

Location: 86 Candlemaker Row, Edinburgh (other locations as required)

Reports to:  Catering Manager

Salary: £20,020 pa

Hours: 35 hours including days, evenings & weekends

Notice period: 4 weeks on either side

TOIL/Overtime: TOIL will be accrued for any overtime worked.

Annual Leave: 29 Days per annum.

CONTRACT: awarded for 3 months in first instance and then on-going subject to the income generated from social enterprise and funding

The successful post holder must complete an application to become a member of the Protection of Vulnerable Groups Scheme prior to commencement of employment.

TO APPLY: CV and a covering letter stating why you wish to apply for the post.

CLOSING DEADLINE: 9am Monday 28th August 2017


A Passion and a Business Model that took a Member from Undervalued Teenager to Honours Graduate

When Graham Polhill arrived at Grassmarket Furniture he told us he had experienced a childhood of not being recognised and feeling undervalued.  He was a quiet, withdrawn and lacking confidence. He experienced bullying and felt alone. He attended a school for children with behavioural problems and was left much of the time, in his words ‘doodling’ as long as he didn’t misbehave. He describes a school and childhood with little to stimulate him or interest him and certainly no one seemed to care. When Graham left school he left with no qualifications and little confidence. He left with a dislike of classrooms and education. Coming to Grassmarket Community Project and supported by our team he discovered a talent and a passion for woodwork. More importantly, he discovered a group of people, staff, volunteers and fellow members, that were proud of any and all of his achievements. He discovered a place where he could learn and contribute to other people’s lives. Graham went on to achieve an HND in Carpentry at Edinburgh College, winning ‘Student of the Year  2 years ago and this week Graham graduated with an Honours Degree in Furniture Design at Oxford Brookes University


The Grassmarket Community Project are so happy for Graham. We are also grateful to our workshop, events and cafe customers along with the our social enterprise model to enabled us to have supported Graham throughout his journey. This model of funding enabled us to be there with Graham free of time limits and not according to where he was at in his development but throughout his entire journey, whenever he needed us and for as long as he needed us. Graham attended the Workshop during all his college and Uni holidays – often teaching Tommy and Susan (our workshop managers/instructors) things they didn’t know! Graham maintained contact throughout the last 5 years with us at all times sometimes expressing his feeling that we were like his family. Graham’s passion for woodwork is exceptional and is well illustrated by this funny story from Tommy Steel, Senior Manager at the project:

“We were delivering some furniture to a church in Gretna. There was myself, Graham and another member of the team in the van. We were almost at Gretna and Graham hadn’t stopped talking about woodwork the whole journey. As much as I like woodwork, it still becomes a bit monotonous when someone doesn’t stop talking about it. I tried every technique to change the subject but no matter how hard I tried Graham always brought it back to woodwork. He would talk about the kind of furniture he would make in the future. He would describe the layout of his workshop and the service he would provide for his customers in incredible detail. Eventually I said, “Right thats it Graham. Is there anything you are interested in other than woodwork? Have you any other interests?” He thought for a while then said: “Well, yes, computer games.”  Great, I thought. “Graham, tell me about the computer game you’re playing.” He replied, “oh there is this brilliant game I am playing at the moment. The main hero character is this joiner right…” “Aaaaaaagh!!” I laughed and screamed.

I knew then that Graham’s customers were going to enjoy the finest, well built and exceptionally well designed furniture. What an incredible passion.”

A huge congratulations to Graham Polhill. B.A. (Hons)




Social In the Gardens

We are delighted to be participating in Edinburgh Social Enterprises exciting Social in the Gardens 2017 on Wednesday 2nd and Thursday 3rd August an event aimed at informing, inspiring and entertaining.  Its a free two day, family friendly event showcasing high quality goods and services from a selection of Edinburgh’s 260 social enterprises – businesses where profits go to support communities and social change. There’ll be an exciting programme of live music and performance events, a pop up market, art exhibition and installations, storytelling, book readings, kids activities and a family ceilidh each afternoon all in the centre of Princes St Gardens.

Join us at the world famous Ross Bandstand in Princes Street Gardens 



We’ll be selling a range of Grassmarket Tartans and original Greyfriars Tartan gifts and accessories as well as some Grassmarket Furniture small gifts. We’ll be selling hot dogs, burgers, baked potatoes and ice cream throughout the two days – all served by our award winning Events and Catering team as well serving soft drinks and delicious alcoholic beverages including Pilot Brewery, a Leith based micro-brewer Blonde on draught and Brewgooder Scotland’s unique beer with a conscience pioneered by a partnership between Brewdog, Edinburgh’s Leading Craft Beer Company and The Hunter Foundation. It all adds up to a festival and event with a difference – where all the products and services present make a difference to the customer whilst making a difference to the lives of many of our most vulnerable and marginalised individuals and groups at no extra cost.

ewan-breadmaking02Cafe Supervisor John Scally jokes with a customer

The Scotch Whisky Experience Supports Grassmarket Charity

We are delighted to have received a generous donation of One thousand pounds from the Scotch Whisky Experience local attraction.  Support from local businesses are vital to us ensuring we continue to support our most vulnerable and social isolated.

£1000 will meet many costs for example the cost of two of our self-esteem 6 week courses, our Choir all year (so it along with all our activities is free for our members to benefit from) or will enable us to provide 40 free counselling sessions to help our members survive trauma, diagnosis of  terminal illness, loss or family breakdown.  3 quarters of people with long term mental health issues are unable to work and they now outnumber those with physical disabilities and illnesses who are also unemployed. The Grassmarket Community Project with the help of local businesses like the Scotch Whisky Centre can support people – journey alongside them and be a place they can turn to now, for as long as it takes and even after, they have made transitions in their lives.

The Scotch Whisky Experience is a five star visitor attraction at the top of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, where they’ve been inspiring visitors to Edinburgh about the joys of Scotch whisky for over 25 years. They offer: tours, a shop and restaurant, events, tastings and know all there is to know about Scotland’s dram. They are a fabulous company and have supported fundraisers in the project as well as been a retail outlet for our Grassmarket Tartans social enterprise. We are exceptionally grateful to their team and in particular Julie Trevisan Hunter (pictured), Tony Dick (Picture mid) and Rosie Willmot (behind the camera) for visiting the project today and making the donation. It was a delight to show them around the project and introduce them to staff and members.

Scotch Whisky Experience handing over the donation

Castle Chorus Summer Concert raises funds for our charity

The glorious sound of the Castle Chorus choir echoed around our building last night to a an audience of over 70 people. The Choir kindly offered to raise funds for the project as well which are incredibly grateful for. People walking buy the busy Grassmarket area heard the music and wondered in. The choir sang traditional songs from Macedonia, America, Nigeria, contemporary folk music from Scotland and our own original songs including a bit of performance poetry in there. It was a lovely evening and we hope they come back soon.

The Choir practice every  Thursday 6.30-8.30pm and is run by the highly talented Caro Overy.

For more information go to their facebook page an or email

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