Contributor: George Fyvie
Charity works – first one I ever did was volunteering as a stage manager/ lighting tech for Scottish Opera for all, this toured places like old folks homes, community centres, craigmiller castle etc. The cast was always local residents, with a high number of physically or mentally handicapped performers. They loved being the centre of attention and were really appreciated by the community at large.
After that I volunteered with St Brides Theatre and the Church HIll Theatre as a lighting technician and stage manager, where I also ended up running the projector for the saturday afternoon movie matinee for old folks in the area. I worked with community groups and youth groups such as st serfs players, revellations, st phillips, frog prince productions, third rail and many more groups.
Eventually i went on to the hospitality trade and always went out my way to not only provide space for community groups but to help start up groups. Well Hung Tours, which spawned history in the pub and a community magic show was created by myself and passed on to chimera productions to run.
Of late I have been the Secretary of Leith Community Archers, helping them to achieve charitable status and become self funding, they were an offshoot of inspiring leith originally who aimed to be self sufficient. They run very well now and I have stepped back to being a committee member due to my new job.
I also helped GTS solutions through their transition phase, building their business model and business plans, as well as finding them a premises with which to be edinburgh’s first social enterprise pub, aimed at finding training and employment for long term unemployed 18-26 year olds. GTS is now expanding their units and Chris Thewlis sits on the board of Social Enterprise Scotland. I still operate as an advisor for Chris.
I have also helped out with Edinburgh Cyrenians, running the back of house for several fundraising events. I met Alex when working as the business manager of the pear tree, blind poet and counting house (pear tree partnership), and he homed Ragged University in the fantastic surroundings of the counting house, as well as groups such as Edinburgh Fortean Society, Edinburgh Skeptics, Edinbop, History in the Pub, etc.
I am currently working as the Executive Manager of St Johns Church in Princess Street, responsible for a large team of staff, volunteers and community groups. We were landlords to several charities such as JUST festival, edinburgh peace and justice centre, cornerstone bookshop, as well as businesses such as hendersons restaurant and the one world fiar trade shop. We are currently going through a £3.2 Million pound development build, creating a fantastic modern community hall in the centre of town and are hoping to once again base quite a few charities in our buildings.
George has been an amazing person to meet and work with. As a venue manager he has always actively engaged with the communities which surround his venues and understood the connection that local businesses have with the neighbourhoods and people. Providing a regular space in which to do events, and also offering stages and equipment to the project to do stuff in the Edinburgh Festival, he has been a great patron making hopes a reality.
George has taught a lot about professionalism and events delivery whilst never sacrificing the personal touches which make our world a human one. He is a Hospitalier, and this is in evidence of how he signs off on each of his communications: “To receive guests is to take charge of their happiness during the entire time they are under your roof.” Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin. (1755-1826)