Volunteering & Placements

2007 – 2019 – An intrinsic part of the cafe from the beginning was an initiative to train and employ young and people facing additional barriers to work in hospitality and catering. Funded by Capital City Partnership for over ten years in that time we have supported over 300 people to gain practical skills, confidence and experience. We’ve worked alongside many other organisations like POLHA, Canongate Youth, Forth Sector and GOAL Training and helped young people gain formal qualifications.  Many have gone on to work in top Edinburgh restaurants and hotels and a few have stayed with us and are now running the kitchen and some of our best attended events. 

2019 – We continue to offer work placements and volunteering opportunities and often work in partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council and other charities. Please contact Stephanie if you or someone you are working with is interested in getting involved or fill in our volunteer application form.

“Out of the blue is a fantastic fun and friendly environment to build up social skills, learn to cook and genuinely have fun doing it. Take chances, some things are better than you expect. It was great great to work with people with a variety of skills and all ages”


“It’s is an amazing place to learn new skills & its a great place for people of all ages , I have had personal experiences of training with out of the blue drill hall arts cafe that’s was brilliant as I started training here in 2014/2015 with sparks at the yard & decided to do further training with Port of Leith which resulted in me getting a job in the cafe that I absolutely love.”


“I think Out of the Blue is a great place to work as there is so many different things going on and so many different creative businesses. Everyone is so friendly and willing to help in any way possible. This Placement has helped me with many things mostly my confidence in dealing with people whether it be face to face or over the phone.”


Tammy serving soup in the kitchen

“A chance to meet new people and be in a new environment. It’s good that we have exhibitions on and all the different things going on here. The worst part of it is probably that I’ll be having to leave at the end of the six months! The rule is if you make something you have to try it – I think that’s a good thing. There’s not a lot I wouldn’t try…!”


Meredith at the cafe

Four months into her trainneeship at the Drill Hall Café, 18-year old Meredith landed a job as a commis chef at the Balmoral Hotel. The experience so far has made Meredith even more determined to become a chef. Alongside her traineeship, she will also be sent to college to study subjects such as food hygiene.

What’s the best thing you have made so far? “The other day I had to make a macadamia pie, it was really yummy!”



Jodie completed a 6 month café traineeship at the Drill Hall Arts Café after coming the Drill Hall as a participant in the ‘Streetlife’ project. Now Jodie is the Development Manager for the cafe and co-ordinates our most popular events including the monthly Flea Market & quarterly Markers Marque. 

I first heard about the training scheme from my careers adviser and thought it would be something I’d enjoy. It has been amazing. I’m getting up in the morning all excited about coming to my work. I have never worked before and didn’t know what to expect but working in the café is a great experience.” (2009)



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