Volunteering with GCP

Volunteering with GCP now and in the future

Volunteering plays an essential role in the continued success of GCP.

To celebrate Volunteer Week 2024, our wonderful story catching volunteer, Caroline, sat down with GCP’s award-winning Volunteer Manager, Kevin, to discover more about our individual and corporate volunteering programmes, AND our future plans.

Volunteering with GCP

Since Kevin started in 2021, individual volunteering has increased from approximately 15 to over 128 regular Volunteers, including 10 Member Volunteers. GCP also has a thriving Corporate Volunteering programme, as we continue to develop meaningful and reciprocal Corporate Partnerships.

Individual Volunteering

GCP would not be able to provide our support and services to Edinburgh’s most vulnerable, without our fantastic volunteers. Volunteers make a positive contribution to our Members’ lives and ensure the continued success of our community.

This is why Kevin loves his job. He explains GCP’s volunteering philosophy,

Our volunteers are a wonderful bunch of people. They are nothing short of amazing. They help and support us and, more often than not, go above and beyond. I am genuinely blown away by their support.

‘It’s not just about the number of volunteers we have, but how we look after them. It’s all about monitoring, nurturing and supporting volunteers, giving everyone the time and focus they deserve. In turn, this builds longer term relationships and commitment to GCP’s mission, therefore ensuring consistency of support for our Members.’

volunteering with GCP

Kevin talks about GCP’s person-centred approach,

We try to ensure a personal approach with volunteers. I usually meet with them to see where they best fit to support our Members. It is equally important that the volunteers are happy and can use their skills.

‘Often, volunteers can be nervous at first, so it’s vital we put them at ease straight away. Over time, it’s great to see volunteers gain confidence and see their involvement increase.’   

This person-centre approach also means we can have more fun! Volunteers get to know each other better and enjoy frequent nights out. Ten pin bowling has been particularly popular!

Michael - Volunteer at GCP

Volunteers start supporting GCP in one way and then develop, as their confidence grows.

For example, Michael started volunteering with us on Reception back in 2018.

We are so grateful to Michael, he is a great volunteer, helping us out on reception, as a choir member and as you can see, he is a keen walker and now enjoys supporting our Long Walk days out.

He is also a voracious reader, so it was made sense for him to support GCP’s Open Book class too.

GCP continues to work with Michael to ensure we use his skills and interests in the best way for him and our Members. He has also gained new skills, having attended several volunteer-centred courses

Read more about Michael’s story >>

Member Volunteers

Volunteering can also be important for our Members’ personal development and for building self-esteem.  As Kevin says,

 ‘Everyone has skills and has something to offer. We are here to support Members and when they volunteer, it can really boost their confidence. It’s a win-win situation.’

Peter is a great example of a Member Volunteer. He used to be a kitchen porter at the Balmoral and now volunteers in our kitchen. He is the best washer-up in the business!

Another example is our fabulously talented artist, Frank. He helps run the Art Class on a Friday.

Read more about Frank’s story >>

Volunteering now with GCP
Volunteer spotlights - Meet Frank

Corporate Volunteering

The Grassmarket Community Project has a fantastic track record, working with like-minded organisations looking to build fulfilling, reciprocal relationships. We tailor Corporate Partnerships to fit an organisation’s specific goals, whilst fulfilling our requirements as a small and passionate charity.

HSBC Corporate Volunteering The Grassmarket Community Project

Kevin enjoys building relationships with our Corporate Partners,

We are lucky as there is a big demand for Corporate Volunteering with us. We like to build relationships with a small number of loyal corporates where both sides invest in a long-term relationship’.

By the end of April, GCP had already held 10 corporate days with 16 more in the plan. Corporate Volunteers help with everything from fundraising and support for the Members Programme and GCP’s thriving Social Enterprises, to serving meals, clearing our warehouse and painting rooms.

Find out more about GCP’s Corporate Partnerships >>

Volunteer with GCP

The Future of Volunteering with GCP

So, what does Kevin have planned for the future?

‘We really want to ensure our community of individual and corporate volunteers are happy, loyal and enjoy supporting us, now and into the future. We are always looking at ways of involving our members as volunteers, when appropriate, to help build their confidence.  

‘I am just so lucky to have this job. I look forward to supporting each and every one of our fabulous volunteers into the future – a BIG thank you for all they do.’ 

Volunteer with us

Whichever way you choose to Volunteer with us, we will make sure your relationship with us is the best fit for you!

A BIG THANK YOU

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.