Stories are powerful. They make connections between people, places and the past. 

Sadly, some people have lost that connection. Those in vulnerable communities can feel cut off from their city and their stories. 

They live here, but the stories are not theirs.

This can happen to anyone, such as those helped by the Grassmarket Community Project (GCP) in Edinburgh.

Dislocation from their culture holds them back. 

Stories can help them to recover. And now you can help too.

Your donations will buy GCP members the same 5-star tour as you enjoy - free of charge to them, offered at an exclusive discount by attractions, paid for by you.  

Read on for more.

Connecting the Disconnected

Every £100 donation raised will pay for 15 members of the Grassmarket Community Project (GCP) to have a private 5 star, 3 hour tour and attraction visit free of charge.  All of the ‘Our Stories, Your City’ partners will provide their tour and attraction entry at an exclusively discounted rate, covered by your donations.

Stories can help people to heal, can rebuild confidence and pride, and restore a sense of ‘home’. 

Your donation will give those cut off from Edinburgh's culture a warm welcome back into their Museums, their Palace and their Castle.  They will hear and own their stories and their city again. 

Supporting Vulnerable Communities

Grassmarket Community Project are long-standing friends of Mercat Tours and support people who are homeless, have physical and mental health issues, disabilities, alcohol and drug problems, and who are disconnected from society.

Bringing practical help to this important charity and its people is the main objective of this project. It will have a positive impact on GCP members wellbeing.

If you are close to someone who has;

  • suffered mental health problems
  • experienced loss
  • been a victim of abuse
  • felt isolated
  • faced the challenges of substance misuse
  • experienced homelessness
  • lived in poverty’ll know that these are issues which could happen to anyone. The Covid pandemic has had an even greater impact on  vulnerable people through health inequalities, isolation, and social exclusion.

All GCP members can access the 5 star tours free of charge thanks to your donations, and will receive support and help to feel safe and included.

A Force for Good

Mercat Tours, in partnership with some of the most outstanding visitor attractions in Edinburgh, is delighted to have created this innovative ‘Our Stories, Your City’ project - a simple way to enjoy your own tour of Edinburgh and donate the same to others.

Book a tour, include a donation to our charity partner, the Grassmarket Community Project and you’ll be proving that tourism can, as we believe, be a force for good.

Award-winning Mercat storytellers will lead GCP members on small-group walking tours into premium heritage attractions including Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Gladstone’s Land, the Georgian House, and the National Museum of Scotland.

The experience is superb – intimate and immersive – and, exclusively, these tours do more than that, they connect visitors, GCP members and Edinburgh all through storytelling. 

Breaking Down Barriers

We believe that - through our work and with your support - we can break down barriers, reduce harm, and improve social wellbeing.


To enable the most isolated to enjoy their attractions, to build their confidence and self-respect.

This demonstrates that tourism and culture can and should be inclusive and responsible.

The Grassmarket Community Project

Mercat Tours has long supported the Grassmarket Community Project, an organisation which takes an innovative and inclusive approach to creating a community and providing sanctuary and support to people dealing with multiple complex issues. These include homelessness, mental/physical health problems, learning difficulties, poverty, substance misuse, physical abuse and more.

You can find out more about the Project, our charity partner, here.

Grassmarket Community Project
Grassmarket Community Project
Grassmarket Community Project
Grassmarket Community Project
Grassmarket Community Project

Grassmarket Community Project

Grassmarket Community Project

Grassmarket Community Project

Grassmarket Community Project

Grassmarket Community Project

Our Partners

The following visitor attractions, some of the leading destinations in Edinburgh, share our belief that tourism can be responsible, ethical and inclusive, and that access to culture should not be limited to certain sections of society. We are delighted that they are partners in this project and look forward to introducing you to their stories.

How You Can Support Us

If you’d like to support our vision of responsible tourism as a force for good, there are two ways you can help.

First, book one of the ‘Our Stories, Your City’ tours. When you make your payment, we ask that you add a donation to Grassmarket Community Project. There’s more about the tours here.

Secondly, if you can’t make a tour but believe in our aims and wish to support the outstanding work of the GCP, you can make a donation below.

We are extremely grateful for your support. Thank you.

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