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The Grassmarket Mission

sanctuary · support · community

photograph of a carved detail on the original Mission Hall building at 94 Grassmarket

Our Mission

Times have changed and as the 20th century gave way to the 21st, so too have the conditions and needs of the community that we serve. The Trustees recognised that the purposes of the original Deed of Trust no longer adequately described the changed operational reality after 120 years in the Grassmarket area of Edinburgh. To address this, and also to bring the Trust into line with modern practice and legal requirements, the Trustees have adopted a Scheme of Re-organisation. OSCR gave its approval to the Scheme in July 2011 and it was formally implemented on 26th August 2011.

The Trust now sees its main mission as addressing problems of poverty, hunger, loneliness and homelessness as well as ministering to those who have, or have had, problems with substance abuse. In terms of the Scheme of Re-organisation, the Trust‘s objectives and principal activities are stated below

  • The relief of those in need
  • The advancement of the Christian religion and the promotion of religious harmony on an undenominational basis; and
  • The advancement of citizenship and community development

The Trustees meet at least three times each year, and in practice more frequently, as and when necessary. The Trust operates with an Honorary Secretary and Honorary Treasurer, who submit reports to the Trustees at each meeting. The current members of the Board of Trustees are;

Jane Paterson - Chair of Trustees

After graduating from Durham University, Jane has made Scotland her home. She originally worked in the research and arts fields before training and working as an NHS Manager in major Scottish teaching hospitals. Jane has since had over 25 years' experience in the development, introduction and management of grant programmes for funding charities, first with the Carnegie Trust and then with Miss Agnes H Hunter's trust. This has involved ongoing involvement with a wide range of third sector organisations and charities in Scotland and throughout the UK. She currently chairs the John and Alice Watson's Charitable Trust, a small grant funding charity, and continues with some freelance assessment work. Jane was appointed to the Board of Trustees on the 7th of February 2019 and was appointed Chair of Trustees with effect from the 1st January 2020.


Elaine Crichton - Honorary Treasurer

Elaine is the Pro Bono Executive at Inspiring Scotland - a charitable organisation based in Edinburgh. Established in 2008 as a World leader in Venture Philanthropy, Inspiring Scotland has brought over £104m of investment to over 300 charities in Scotland.

Prior to joining Inspiring Scotland in 2015 Elaine spent over 25 years in asset management, most recently with Kames Capital, as a senior portfolio manager overseeing pension fund assets of £1.5bn.

She joined the board of Trustees of the Grassmarket Mission in April 2017 and was appointed as Honorary Treasurer with effect from 1st September 2018.

Dr Richie Adams

Richie is an Edinburgh man who was educated just around the corner from the Grassmarket Mission at George Heriot’s School. After leaving Heriot’s Richie joined the police where he spent 31 years undertaking a variety of roles including developing the Code of Ethics for Policing, delivering leadership training across the UK and completing a Fulbright Scholarship in the United States. Richie is now Director of Education and Learning at the Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service. In addition to his doctorate, Richie holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in law and is a qualified coach. He is married with two children who despair at his interest in bagpiping and playing bass guitar

Richie joined the Board of Trustees in 2020.

Douglas Armstrong

Douglas is the Head of Third Sector Cyber Resilience at the Scottish Government – with close to 20 years’ career experience with the organisation. In response to the global pandemic in April 2020, Douglas was temporarily appointed into the role of Justice portfolio manager to lead coordination of briefings and advice for Ministers.

He enjoys keeping active in his spare time and has a passion for a challenge and fundraising for charity, which has included trips to Kilimanjaro and the Himalayas.

He joined the board of Trustees of the Grassmarket Mission in April 2020.

Mrs Mairi Day

Born in Edinburgh, Mairi was educated at Bruntsfield and James Gillespie’s Schools in the city and then further afield at Aberdeen University where she spent five years completing a law degree and Diploma in Legal Practice.

On her return to Edinburgh, Mairi pursued a career in litigation, working in two Edinburgh firms and then in the specialist Personal Injury firm, Digby Brown LLP where she has worked since 2005. She became a Partner there in July 2019 and is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Solicitors.

Mairi joined the Board of Trustees in April 2017 and was Honorary Secretary from 1st September 2018 to 31 March 2020.

Helen Heatlie

Helen was born in Ayrshire and raised in Edinburgh. She was educated at James Gillespie's High School and the University of Edinburgh, completing her post-graduate diploma in Social Work at Glasgow University. Much to her surprise, her career in social work has been exclusively in child care, working in a variety of roles, including statutory child protection, voluntary interventions, fostering and adoption work as well as an independent reviewing officer. She has worked in Fife, East Lothian, Scottish Borders and Stirling and finished up by setting-up and managing the Throughcare and Aftercare services for care leavers in the City of Edinburgh Council. Since retiring in 2016, Helen continues to volunteer with Children's Hearing Scotland, is an independent practice teacher, involved in the supervision and training of future social workers. She also volunteers with the National Trust for Scotland, is a member of the congregation of St Giles' Cathedral, Edinburgh and has sung in the choir there for many years. Helen was appointed to the Board of Trustees on the 14th of November 2018.