Members Stories – Davie

Davie’s Story

Davie worked non-stop for 32 years. He was always on the go, all the time – but then everything stopped when he became ill. He was diagnosed with cancer. The diagnosis and the chemotherapy knocked him for six and depression set in.

‘I started sleeping all day, drinking a lot and couldn’t get myself to get out of bed. My hygiene was all to pot as well. I wasn’t really aware of how bad things were getting – I think because I was having mental health problems I just got trapped in my own wee world. I wasn’t eating properly either.’

Members Stories GCP 3

Life-saving GCP

Davie’s family were very worried about him. Social Work stepped in and carers came to visit him three times a day, mainly to make sure he was eating. He really didn’t want that. As an alternative, Davie’s social worker suggested a visit to the Grassmarket Community Project.

‘The visit put me back on a positive path. I quickly found a welcoming place in the project’s tartan textiles group where you can volunteer. I received training in textile skills to produce a range of beautiful products. These have gone as far afield as California and Shanghai. I am so proud to be playing my part in creating goods that raise funds to support the project.’

Davie wasn’t sure how it would go at first as he hadn’t used a sewing machine for about forty years. But he picked it up again really quickly.

Five years in, Davie started to run the tartan group and he really enjoy it, teaching volunteers how to use the sewing machines.

‘This place is very special and it’s been really good for me. We’re all different and we come from all walks of life but we are friends. There are people with vulnerabilities, folk with health problems but we all get on. It’s like a big family!’

‘When I’m here I’m getting a good healthy meal, whereas at home on your own you often don’t bother so much.’

Davie has done other groups at GCP too,

‘The activities are really brilliant. The art group is really relaxed and it’s great for chilling out. I’ve also done some things I would never have dreamed of doing before: things like kayaking and even abseiling!’

To sum up his experience of GCP, Davie says,

‘It’s fair to say that coming here saved my life. I think that, if I had continued the way I was going, the drink would have killed me. I would have been dead. I’ve no doubt about that.’

Culture Club at GCP

Connection at GCP

Loneliness and Social Isolation are the main reasons people give for coming to GCP. They may have no family or friends. They may not have had a positive interaction with anyone for some time. 

There are many complex reasons leading to an individual feeling isolated from society. BUT Social Poverty is usually the first and most immediate struggle that we can start to help people address.

Whatever the circumstances, people are welcome at the Grassmarket Community Project. 

Everything we do here at GCP is about connection.

First and foremost, we eat, hang out and learn together in a safe, warm, welcoming and non-judgmental environment.  

Our weekly Members Programme provides a whole host of opportunities to learn, create and develop skills and confidence within a group. Members, volunteers and staff team are learning and growing together.

It is often when people are side by side engaged in an activity that the most valuable conversations take place.  

Members find that they can start to share their stories, quite freely and openly. They are also happy to talk to others about how GCP is helping them find their own path through their challenges to discover their untapped potential. 

For our Members, GCP is hugely positive and often essential. We are the antidote to social isolation, because we are the good place to be. 

Fund and Sponsor GCP Member Activities (1)

How to support GCP’s Social Purpose

Please help us to keep providing support and opportunities to vulnerable people. There are various ways you can support our community. You can donate, fund or sponsor, support our social enterprises and volunteer.

Donate >>   
Fund and Sponsor >>

Support our Social Enterprises

Wood Workshop >>
Tartan Shop >>
Event Hire Service >>
Visit Coffee Saints >>

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The Grassmarket Community Project’s Members Programme relies on the generosity of our customers, funders and donors. Our key funders for this area of our work are Nationwide Community Grants, The Robertson Trust and EVOC/Scottish Government Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund. We thank them for their essential continued support.

Nationwide Building Society Community Grants
The Robertson Trust
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