Members Stories – Evelyn

Evelyn’s Story

Evelyn has been with GCP for several years. She has participated in training, workshops and taken part in a short residential.

Evelyn came to GCP having experienced domestic violence, trauma, years of instability and a 6-month period of homelessness and staying in a large city-centre hostel. She suffers from physical ill-health including chronic back pain, as well as depression and anxiety.

Members Stories GCP

Evelyn has had a number of very difficult relationships and trusted people who have abused her physically, sexually and emotionally. This started with her parents and wider family. More recently, she was in a violent relationship with a partner for a number of years. Evelyn feels at times she was let down by services and support.

At the beginning of the pandemic and lockdown, Evelyn initially struggled to access any support or services, including those offered by the GCP. She does not trust internet-based programmes as she’s concerned that her ex-partner will track her or access her details. She is also concerned the DWP may withdraw her benefits if she is engaging with activities, classes or courses.

Evelyn’s home was broken into in the first few weeks of lockdown. She feels she was treated appalling by the Police and experienced being dismissed and disregarded. She felt violated and worried about her safety. She was alone and became very anxious and frightened.

Over time, Evelyn gradually accepted support from GCP volunteers and staff. This started with regular phone contacts with a keyworker, then moved on to twice weekly ‘virtual walks’. GCP supplied her with a laptop and some data via her phone so she could access our online coffee mornings and classes. We also delivered food to her 3 times a week, as she wasn’t eating or cooking for herself. Evelyn benefited from regular ongoing support from phone calls to social distanced home visits.

GCP as a lifeline

Evelyn has experienced huge levels of trauma and abuse and is very vulnerable. She is suspicious of agencies and reluctant to reach out. Evelyn has described GCP services, volunteers and staff as a lifeline. It is difficult to see how she would have got through the height of the lockdown without GCP support.

Evelyn needs the support of a community that sticks with her and maintains a strong bond, like a family. No matter what happens, we are there to remind her that she is important, that she contributes to our lives and she is not a burden.

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 >>

AND follow, like and share on our Socials


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
EVOC logo
ScotGov Logo