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Mercat Keeps GRoWing Green and Keen

19th Jun 2012

All the team at GRoW were delighted to get the job of producing tables for Mercat Tours' Megget's Cellar.  As a team we initially had a discussion and decided that the tables should be made from pews which came from Peterculter Parish Church in Aberdeenshire.  The reason we decided this was that it was high quality Douglas Fir and with the right finish the tables would be a great compliment to the "tavern".

One of the main features of the tables is the "waney" edge they have around the top.  As much as it gives a really old and worn look which is appropriate for it's purpose, it was also a very therapeutic activity for our volunteers who worked on it.  As you can imagine, there is no right or wrong in producing this effect so each individual can use there own imagination. The end result gives great satisfaction!

This has been a fantastic piece of work for our team.  The fact that it was five tables allowed everyone the opportunity to get involved.  On completion (on time!) there was a great sense of achievement and pride within the team.

It has been an absolute pleasure in working with Mercat Tours. Through offering us this work you have directly improved people's lives and recycled beautiful timber which would otherwise be destined for landfill.

Tommy Steel, Workshop Manager

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

GRoW, started in 2008, is a part of the Grassmarket Community Project. The volunteers attend workshops 5 days a week and transform unwanted church pews and textiles into beautiful, bespoke pieces of furniture and home furnishings. Learners work under the supervision of Tommy Steel and is on track to become a self- sustaining social enterprise that does not require outside funding.

With an emphasis on quality, 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. Over 2011/12 the new ‘Greyfriar’s Tartan’ range is being developed in partnership with local crafts people to add additional value to the items.

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.

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