Garvald Edinburgh charity uses Rudolf Steiner's philosophy to help people express their creativity – Angus Robertson MSP

Edinburgh is home to some remarkable charitable and third sector organisations. It was an absolute pleasure and honour to visit Garvald on Gorgie Road, which provides day services for adults over the age of 16 with learning disabilities.

Garvald helps people to express their creativity and feel part of their community
Garvald helps people to express their creativity and feel part of their community

Garvald uses an approach which is focussed on supporting people to express their creativity, find meaning in work and feel part of a community.

Members spend their time and develop their skills in workshops on jewellery, textiles, drama, puppetry, canteen work, glass, joinery, pottery, tools refurbishment, gardening and a bakery, that bakes particularly tasty bread.

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I’m extremely grateful to be able to meet the Garvald team, especially the many members and staff attending workshops who took the time to show me the projects they were working on. What was particularly striking was the laughter and enjoyment of everyone present.

If you’ve not yet come across Garvald Edinburgh, take the time to look online and see what they do at their different sites: Gorgie Workshops, Waterside Workshops, Orwell Arts, The Mulberry Bush and Mayfield House.

The approach that Garvald takes is heavily influenced by the Austrian philosopher and educationalist Rudolf Steiner and using his ideas to support people with learning disabilities.

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At its heart is a striving to notice and foster the unique potential that each individual brings to the community, through their thoughts, their feelings and their actions. With committed and talented staff, that’s exactly what I was able to see at Garvald Edinburgh and wish them every success in the future.

Angus Robertson is the SNP MSP for Edinburgh Central and Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Secretary