Our vision, mission and impact

Our Vision

We believe in a world where people reach their full potential, feel positive about themselves, valued and connected to others and the wider community.

Our Mission

We will create an inclusive person-centred environment where people feel empowered to develop skills, build positive relationships and enjoy an ongoing sense of belonging.


Sustainability is important to us. The Grassmarket Community Project is committed to operating in a way which minimises its impact on the environment.

Our Latest Annual Reports & Accounts

Grassmarket Community Project – Annual Report 2022

Grassmarket Community Project – Financial Accounts 2021

Grassmarket Annual Report 2021

Grassmarket Community Project – Financial Accounts 2020

Business Plan 2021-23

Our Theory of Change and Approach

Grassmarket Community Project is a community of individuals who deliver emotional support, services, classes, activities, practical support and enterprising opportunities by taking a strengths-based approach (or in community terms, an Asset Based Community Development approach). We access the skills, expertise and lived experience of our Members. We recognise and form partnerships with agencies, businesses and professionals who share our values. Our staff and volunteer team comprise a compassionate multi-disciplinary team of craftspeople, technicians, social workers, community adult educators, social entrepreneurs and community workers. Our GCP Theory of change is therefore best understood using the core principles of Social Pedagogy  a needs led approach incorporating non directive leadership, a whole person client centred approach and the use of non-violent communication. We understand that by creating a trauma (ACE’s) informed environment with a commitment to equality, anti-oppressive practice and social inclusion and by providing a range of practical, creative, physical, enterprising and therapeutic activities in a nourishing group setting people will live rich fulfilling healthy lives, achieve their goals and our community and wider society will be safer, fairer and more inclusive.

Core intended social impact outcomes

  1. To create an inclusive community for all individuals facing social exclusion by lack of opportunity, skills and aspiration, where they can achieve greater self-esteem, improved employment skills and a purpose in life.
  2. To create an inclusive community where individuals can, through membership and volunteering, contribute to the wellbeing of those facing social exclusion.
  3. To manage and sustain the building which provides the home for the Grassmarket Community Project, moving the project towards self-sufficiency through social enterprise.
  4. To maintain and sustain the Grassmarket Community Project as a partnership comprising Greyfriars Kirk, the Grassmarket Mission, statutory and voluntary agencies, local businesses and residents.

Our Impact Framework applies a range of measures and evaluation tools to assess our social impact against our intended outcomes and according to best practice in the charity and social enterprise sector. Using a mixture of self-reporting, observations, extensive and detailed interviews, the Edinburgh-Coventry-Well-being scale and statistical data based on attendance information and our Members profile on arrival to the project we produce and publish an impact report annually.

Our latest reports

Grassmarket Community Project – Annual Report 2022

Grassmarket Community Project – Impact Report 2022

Members tell us…

“The Grassmarket Community Project is like a big family, we all look after each other. That’s just great.”

“Thank you for asking me how I am. Most people aren’t interested.”

“I love the community lunch, seeing everyone sitting down together, enjoying a meal and chatting about their day. It makes me so happy to be here.”

A Members Story… “I worked non-stop for years, I was always on the go, all the time – but then everything stopped when I became ill. I stopped working when I was diagnosed with cancer, and the chemotherapy that followed, knocked me for six and depression set in. I started sleeping all day, drinking a lot and couldn’t get myself out of bed. My hygiene went to pot but 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.

My family were very worried about me. Social work stepped in and carers came to visit me three times a day, mainly to make sure I was eating. I really didn’t want that though. As an alternative, the social worker suggested a visit to the Grassmarket Community Project, which put me back on a positive path. I quickly found a welcoming place in the tartan group where you can volunteer and receive training in textile skills to make beautiful things. These have gone as far afield as California and Shanghai! I am so proud to be playing my part. Five years on I now run a group here, teaching volunteers. It’s funny – I have guys starting off saying “no, no, no – I can’t do it”, then when they get the hang of things I can’t stop them!”

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. It’s like a big family. 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.