Volunteer Stories: Meet Maureen

Volunteer Stories Maureen

Meet Maureen one of GCP’s longest serving volunteers

In 2015, Maureen retired from Edinburgh College. She had been a Lecturer in Hospitality and was looking for a new focus to help structure her week.

Maureen found The Grassmarket Community Project on a volunteer website and was delighted when Catherine, GCP’s Director of Social Enterprise, contacted her for a chat.

Maureen hasn’t looked back since,

‘I love volunteering as you form relationships, get fond of people. It really is an integral part of my week.’

At first, Maureen volunteered in the Grassmarket Café (now Coffee Saints) working with Janie and Graham. They were a great team! She also helped out with recording the Scottish Vocational Qualifications for staff, volunteers and members.

During lockdown, Maureen switched to driving a van around the empty streets of Edinburgh delivering meals to our Members.

Learning new skills

After the pandemic, Maureen fancied a change and began working with the Tartan Social Enterprise team,

‘I’m a competent hand-sewer and it’s been great having a new challenge. I have developed new relationships too.’

Maureen has seen changes over her many years of volunteering, but she’s keen to emphasise,

‘Volunteers have always been respected. I feel supported by the whole organisation and Kevin (GCP’s Volunteer Manager) is great. He’s very interactive and checks up on us and responds very quickly if there is any concern.’

GCP’s rosy glow!

Still enamoured with GCP, Maureen reflects on her time volunteering with us,

‘The Grassmarket Community Project is a non-judgemental place that accepts everyone, as long as they behave themselves! It’s a safe and secure space too. Volunteers are accepted and there is no real pressure put on them. We are definitely appreciated.

‘Over the years, I have really enjoyed learning new skills. I had no idea how to make a coffee at first, but learnt to be a barista and I’m now improving my sewing skills. I’m known as ‘the rose lady’ as I make most of the tartan roses for the Tartan Shop!

For Maureen, in the end, it’s back to the importance of relationships,

‘I feel particularly supported by the other volunteers in the Tartan Workshop. We have a WhatsApp group where we share ideas and support each other. We are very sociable and regularly go out for dinner and sometimes even have a cheeky prosecco, at the end of a long day.’

Walking with The Grassmarket Community Project

Volunteer with us

We would not be able to deliver the amazing support and services we provide to vulnerable people and social enterprise customers without our fantastic volunteers.

Become a Member

There are lots of opportunities for individuals to participate and join in! Everyone is welcome. 


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
The National Lottery Community Fund - The Grassmarket Community Project

The Grassmarket Community Project’s Volunteer Programme also relies on the generosity of our customers, funders and donors. Our main funder for this area of our work is The Big Lottery Changing Lives programme and we thank them for their essential continued support.