Greyfriars Kirk first opened its doors in 1620 to serve the south-west parish of Edinburgh and its community continues to thrive today. The Grassmarket Mission was founded in 1890 and has historically provided a variety of services to homeless people in the Grassmarket area of Edinburgh where they traditionally gathered. The two partners have been working alongside each other since 1982 and developed the joint Project working out of the building previously used as Greyfriars’ church halls. Grassmarket Community Project was formed as a stand-alone charity in 2010 by the two partners, to take forward the vision, mission and work they had established.
Although the partners’ roots are in working with people who are homeless or destitute, a wider definition of community came to be realised and the Project works with people who are dealing with a wide range of complex issues including mental and physical health problems, learning difficulties, poverty, substance misuse, social isolation and more.
The Grassmarket Centre on Candlemaker Row was officially opened by John Swinney, MSP on 25 April 2013. The centre has won architectural awards for its design and is home to our community, which is supported through a combination of our award-winning social enterprises, charitable grants and donations.