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Greyfriars Recycling of Wood (GRoW)

The Greyfriars Recycling of Wood Project started in 2008. It is open 4 days a week and has about 10 regular volunteers on each day. They transform unwanted church pews into beautiful, bespoke pieces of furniture. They work under the supervision of Tommy Steel (Workshop Manager). In due course, they intend the project to become a self- sustaining Social Enterprise that does not require outside funding.

The business proposition is this:
Supply of raw materials: The associated church links provides a good and long-term supply of church pews and furniture – high quality wood

Enterprise workforce: For decades past the Kirkhouse has been a social centre and alms house for the city centre homeless and others who have resettled but are in need of company and occupation. Although some would be unable to hold down a paid job, pilot activities and consultations have demonstrated that quite a few Kirkhouse clients are ready, willing and able to contribute at some level to a workforce. Supervision, wood craft expertise and project management are all essential and this has been supplied by a range of funders to date.

Products: They have developed a range of products that sell exceptionally well. The range is designed to be commercial but also to offer sufficient and achievable tasks for trainees.

Ambition: The intention is to ‘grow’ during the next year, while the new facility is being constructed; we will be ready to move into the new premises as a well established social business providing 2 kinds of outcome: profit for re-investment and clear social benefit for the trainees.

Grow is a social enterprise: one of several new mini-businesses being planned or established as part of Grassmarket Community Project (GCP), a new  development in the Grassmarket area of Edinburgh’s Old Town, planned to provide work, training and enhanced life opportunities for people who have had long term homelessness and dependency problems.

For further info`, contact:
Grassmarket Community Project,
84-86 Candlemaker Row,
Tel. (0131) 225 3626


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Company Registration No. 278156. Scottish Charity No. SC 029210