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The Village Square

We're pleased to be launching a new service in the Greyfriars Charteris Centre - The Village Square. This is essentially a community space for access by all. It is going in the former Kirk o'Field Sanctuary and will have tables/chairs plus a soft seating area as well. Whether people need to escape, rest, study, work, chat, meet, give, receive, learn or whatever – The Village Square is here.

Commencing on 5 March, it will be open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10am to 3pm.

Because of the vast connections within the Centre, we will be able to signpost people to a range of support, plus representatives will be able to be called upon from Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh University Campus Ministry, CoCo: Counselling in Communities, Edinburgh Street Pastors, Amina: Muslim Women’s Resource Centre, CrossReach: Heart for Art, Workplace Chaplaincy, Edinburgh Social Enterprise, University of Edinburgh, NHS Occupational Therapy, LOOPS (Local Opportunities for Older People) and other groups as they are in the premises.

The space will have drinks available on a self-serve, donation basis, and will also be able to be used as an exhibition and performance space which will help attract more people and assist with future sustainability. It will have a mixture of table/chair and comfortable seating arrangements. Because of the donation option, if people really need a drink they can have one with the cost covered by others in a kind of ‘pay it forward’ idea because it really is about so much more than the drink itself. It can provide physical comfort, conversation, a smile or even a laugh, and a sense of belonging. A simple gesture like this can change lives, sometimes even save them. This is a perfect ideology for the Charteris Centre.

The Village Square will also become a place of respite or sanctuary for family/care workers of people engaging with groups elsewhere in the premises. This respite space will enable us to: Reduce isolation in older people by providing a safe place for them to come on a daily basis, have a chat, or access support and other activities as appropriate; Enable carers to feel better supported and to have some valuable rest time even if it is just for one hour, by providing a place for them to retreat to when the person they care for is accessing one of the groups in the Centre or elsewhere; and enable students to be more connected to the community by providing space for them to come and work or study plus to give or receive support. All of this complements key local area priorities.

By encouraging people to come together with like minds, and by providing a place of sanctuary from the busyness of life, the new Village Square will also offer a place where faith can be nurtured on many levels. Bringing people into a warm and welcoming environment will open up the way for conversations to happen that can develop faith. In short, we can become ‘Church’ for the rest of the week even where no faith based activity is taking place.

In addition to creating this new activity, we will continue to develop activities and curated services to be delivered from the Charteris Centre that focus on areas of Wellbeing and Enterprise. The village square will act as a catalyst for development of many of these activities and enable better cross referral between current User Groups.

So why not pop in and see what we're up to. We look forward to meeting you.

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