Useful websites

Further help and information for asylum seekers and refugees in Scotland and the UK

There are many organisations in Scotland and the rest of the UK which offer advice, assistance and information for refugees and asylum seekers. We have listed several here. If you would like your website to be added, contact us.

Please note, inclusion of these links is for information only and does not constitute our endorsement.

Arts and culture

Children and young people

Country news and information 

Destitution, housing and health

Education, employment and volunteering

Government websites

Human rights and equalities organisations 

International organisations

Legal advice and support

Money advice

Other refugee organisations around the UK

Women

Arts and culture

Artists in Exile Glasgow: A network of refugee, asylum seeking, international and British artists across all disciplines.

Citizens Theatre: Puts on shows, runs a young people’s theatre company and runs workshops, classes and training courses.

Glasgow Women’s Library: The library houses a large collection of materials by, for and about women. Also hosts regular events for women.

Ignite Theatre: Glasgow based charity which engages with a diverse range of children and young people who face multiple challenges in life. Runs free weekly workshops and drama projects.  

Making it Home: Co-ordinated by Refugee Survival Trust, Making it Home brings together two groups of women in Glasgow and Edinbrugh to create short films inspired by poetry.

Maryhill Integration Network: Maryhill Integration Network runs a variety of activities including a music and theatre production project and a writers with futures group.

People Make Glasgow - what's on: Website highlights what's happening across Glasgow - includes things like events, talks, sports, family activities and more.

Red Road Flats Project: Previous and current residents of the Red Road Flats are invited to commemorate and mark the demolition of the Red Road Flats.

Scottish Pen: A worldwide association of writers pledged to protect freedom of expression and promote literature across frontiers throughout the world.

Seeds of Thought: A poetry group which aims to encourage sharing of cultures through poetry, art and music.

Street Level Photoworks: Provides artists and the public with the opportunity to produce and participate in photography.

YDance: The National Youth Dance Agency for Scotland: Provides quality dance education and encourages all young people to get active and develop their creativity through dance.

Children and young people

British Red Cross Positive Images project: promotes positive attitudes among young people (aged 12 to 25) towards vulnerable migrants.

Home start: Provides volunteers to give practical support to mothers.

LGBT Scotland: Scotland’s largest charity working to improve the health and well-being of young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Venture Scotland: Venture Scotland UK runs an outdoor-based personal development programme for young people aged 16-30, who face complex and difficult problems.

Youth Community Support Agency: Provides services which help young people to develop the confidence, skills and leadership to go forward in life. Has expertise in working with young people from ethnic minorities.

Country news and information

Amnesty International Library: Amnesty International’s library contains an archive of country reports, news releases and urgent actions published from 1996 to date.

BBC World Service: Global news from the BBC.

Country of Origin Information service: Provides accurate, objective, up-to-date, sourced information on asylum seekers' countries of origin. It focuses on human rights issues. This service is based in the Research, Development and Statistics (RDS) section of the Home Office.  

Home Office - Operational Guidance Notes: The Home Office' Operational Guidance Notes provide a summary of the general, political and human rights situation in each country listed.

Human Rights Watch - Country pages: The Human Rights Watch website contains a searchable archive of country reports.

Information Centre about Asylum Seekers and Refugees (ICAR): Up-to-date information about the human rights situation in the country of origin of an asylum seeker is a key element of the asylum decision-making process.  ICAR has pulled together a list of the main information sources used in this process.

Irin News: Humanitarian news and analysis from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). 

Reuters AlertNet: Reuters AlertNet is a web-based humanitarian news network which provides updates on humanitarian crises around the globe and has extensive country profiles.

Destitution, housing and health

Asylum Support Appeals Project: Free legal representation and advice if you are having problems getting financial support.

Bethany Christian Trust: Provides services to people who are homeless and works to prevent people from becoming homeless.

British Red Cross: The British Red Cross has a dedicated service for refugees and people seeking asylum, and can help with advice and limited emergency support if you are destitute.

Citizens Advice Bureau: Offers advice on anything from housing to benefits for everyone living in Scotland. Scottish Refugee Council also provides advice in Edinburgh from the Edinburgh Citizens Advice Bureau.

City of Edinburgh Council Services for Communities Department:  Ensures the city is well housed and maintained.  Neighbourhood teams respond to the needs of local residents and provide advice and information on such areas as anti-social behaviour and housing.

Counselling Directory:  Provides a free, confidential counselling support network to identify a counsellor close to you that is appropriate for their needs.

Freedom from Torture: Provides medico-legal report writing, group
work, therapeutic services and assessment. 

Glasgow Association for Mental Health: Provides support to those who are experiencing mental health difficulties and to their carers.

Glasgow Destitution Network (GDN) Food Destribution Areas: GDN provides food for destitute asylum seekers and other people in need in Glasgow. This map shows where you can get free food across the city.

Glasgow Homeless Information Pages: A resource including advice and links for people who are homeless in Glasgow.

Glasgow Housing Association: (GHA) A not-for-profit housing association in Glasgow.

NHS Inform: Provides health care information for asylum seekers and refugees living in Scotland. You can also find this information in other languages

How to use the National Health Service (NHS) in Scotland (You Tube videos) Provides information about using the NHS, including family doctors, dentists, pharmacies, opticians and out-of-hours services. These videos are also available in other languages. 

Lifelink: Free therapeutic services to adults and young people across Glasgow. Individual services include counselling, casework, therapeutic massage, acupuncture and reflexology.

Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture: Charity providing medical consultation, psychological treatment, advice and support for victims of torture. They have a Scottish branch, based in Glasgow.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde: Glasgow’s local NHS website can help you find a hospital or doctor’s surgery close to where you are living.

NHS Lothian: Edinburgh’s local NHS website can help you find a hospital or doctor’s surgery close to where you are living.

Positive Action In Housing: Scottish charity providing advice for people who have problems with housing. Offers direct support and assistance if you are homeless or destitute.

Rape Crisis Scotland: Information on how to get help if you have suffered, or are threatened with, sexual violence. Runs regional advice centres.

Refugee Survival Trust: Charity providing support for refugees and people seeking asylum living in Scotland who are destitute or who need access to education.

Roshni: Charity offering culturally sensitive services and advice to children and young people from Scotland's minority ethnic communities who are victims of any form of abuse.

Safer Glasgow: Aims to prevent crime, tackle antisocial behaviour and promote community safety in the city of Glasgow.

Samaritans offers confidential emotional support to those experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including suicidal thoughts. Call their helpline number for free anytime, from any phone: 116 123.

Sandyford: NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde's Sexual Health Website: Includes information on Sandyford services and on all aspects of sexual health. Sandyford runs sexual health clinics in Greater Glasgow and Clyde. 

Scottish Association for Mental Health: Runs community-based services for people with mental health problems and carries out policy and campaigning work.

Shelter Scotland: Advice and support on homelessness and housing issues for people living in Scotland.

TV Licensing: Provides information on how to obtain a TV Licence

Waverly Care: Provides care and support to people living with HIV and Hepatitis C, and to their partners, families and carers.

Education, employment and volunteering

Bridges Programme: Arranges work shadowing and work experience for refugees and people seeking asylum, across all industries and business sectors. Also runs courses including women’s empowerment classes and provide childcare.

British Red Cross Positive Images project: promotes positive attitudes among young people (aged 12 to 25) towards vulnerable migrants.

Careers Scotland:Careers Scotland is part of Skills Development Scotland, Scotland’s new skills body, offering career guidance and advice about becoming more employable.

City of Glasgow College: Offers a wide choice of vocational and leisure courses in the following areas: Art and Design; Business and Enterprise; Community, Care and Social Sciences; Computing; Construction, Engineering and Sciences; Creative Industries; Food, Hospitality and Tourism; Hair, Beauty and Sport; Languages and ESOL; Nautical Studies.

Edinburgh College: Runs English as a Second Language courses.

ESOL Scotland: Details of free English classes in Scotland.

Job Centre Plus: UK government website with links to Universal Jobmatch Service and employment advice.

Langside College: Provides flexible learning opportunities in computing, accounts, word processing, numeracy, evening courses in beauty, psychology, first aid and various day courses. Also provides ESOL classes and has a crèche.

Employing Refugees - a Guide for Employers: the guide outlines the main documents refugees and asylum seekers have to demonstrate entitlement to work in the UK. The guide is aimed at employers but will also be useful to advisers working with refugees. It has been produced by Refugee Council in partnership with the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Rosemount Lifelong Learning Centre: Provides a variety of adult learning opportunities and childcare at its two centres in North Glasgow.

Glasgow Kelvin College: Can provide English language support to students enrolled on a mainstream course who feel they would benefit from assistance.

Student Awards Agency for Scotland: It assesses students applying for loans and pays the tuition fees of eligible Scottish higher education students, bursaries and supplementary grants.

Universities Scotland: Produced 'Refugees Welcome: Guidance for Universities on Providing Asylum Seekers and Refugees with Access to Higher Education' in collaboration with Scottish Refugee Council and heads of admissions from a range of Scottish universities. 

Volunteer Scotland: The national website for finding volunteering opportunities across Scotland.

Volunteer Glasgow: Glasgow’s website for volunteering opportunities.

Volunteer Edinburgh: Edinburgh’s website for volunteering opportunities.

Wise Group: A social enterprise that devises and manages efficient, innovative and flexible ways into work.

Government websites

COSLA Strategic Migration Partnership: Network for Scottish local authorities which seeks to ensure that Scotland is a welcoming place for new migrants.

Home Office: Website for the UK Government’s Home Office, which has responsibility for issues around immigration and asylum in Scotland.

Home Office Migration Statistics: The most recent figures on immigration including numbers of people seeking asylum in the UK.

Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC): Oversees legal immigration advice services and tells you how to make a complaint if necessary.

Scottish Government: Website for the Scottish Government.

United Kingdom Borders Agency (UKBA): The government agency that will make a decision on your asylum claim as well as issuing financial support and housing while you go through the process. This site also contains information on applying for travel documents if you have leave to remain, settlement and citizenship.

Human rights and equalities organisations

Amnesty International Scotland: Charity campaigning for protection of human rights across the world.

BEMIS: Works with black and ethnic minority communities across Scotland to help build capacity, support and improve race relations.

ECRE: The European Council on Refugees & Exiles (ECRE) is now a pan-European Alliance of refugee-assisting non-governmental organisations. They are concerned with the needs of all people seeking refuge and protection within Europe.  Watch their documentary about lives of refugees in Greece.

Equality Network: The Scottish campaigning group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Human Rights Watch: Global charity campaigning on behalf of people whose human rights have been violated.

Scottish Human Rights Commission: Promotes and protects the human rights of everyone living in Scotland.

Police Scotland: Provides information and advice on where to get help if you experience a hate crime

Stonewall: A UK-wide charity representing and supporting people who are gay, lesbian or bisexual. Provides advice and campaigns for change.

International organisations

European Council on Refugees and Exiles: Europe-wide network of refugee and asylum organisations. Campaigns and lobbies on European policy.

International Organization of Migration (IOM): Provides help for refugees and asylum seekers who want to return to their country of origin.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees: The UNHCR safeguards refugees and people seeking asylum throughout the world. Can provide advice on international issues.

Legal advice and support

Asylum Aid: Free legal support for those going through the asylum process in the UK.

Asylum Support Appeals Project: Free legal representation and advice if you are having problems getting financial support.

Bail for Immigration Detainees: A group which campaigns to end detention of asylum seekers and challenges detention decisions in the courts.

Education Law Unit: A legal resource in the field of school education, with a particular focus on tackling discrimination, promoting human rights and the rights of disabled pupils and pupils with additional support needs.

Ethnic Minority Law Centre: A Scottish charity providing face-to-face advice by appointment in Edinburgh or Glasgow, as well as a telephone helpline.

Legal Services Agency: Scotland’s national law centre can give you free legal advice on asylum issues. Female legal representatives can also be provided on request through their women and young peoples' department.

Money advice

The Money Advice Service provides free, unbiased advice to help people make the most of their money.  

Other refugee organisations around the UK

Council for Assisting Refugee Academics (CARA): Campaigns and supports academics who have fled their home countries as refugees.

Migrant Help: UK-wide charity providing advice services to migrants, including asylum seekers, refugees, and victims of modern day slavery. Also helps migrants integrate into the community and promotes awareness of asylum issues Advice Line: 0808 8000 630.

National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns: Charity providing help and advice to people facing deportation on how to launch and run anti-deportation campaigns.

North of England Refugee Service: Provides advice and information and promotes awareness of refugees and asylum seekers living in the North of England.

Oxfam Scotland: Charity working to tackle poverty throughout the world. Its Scottish branch also campaigns on poverty and destitution among people living in Scotland, including refugees and asylum seekers. 

Red Cross: International charity with a base in Scotland, which helps refugees and asylum seekers get involved with local life. They provide a limited service for tracing relatives, and run New Voices – a magazine written by asylum seekers and refugees living in Scotland.

Refugee Action: Provides advice and support to asylum seekers and refugees in the North West, the Midlands, London, South West and South Central.

Refugee Council: An independent charity which provides advice and information and campaigns on behalf of refugees and asylum seekers living in England.

Student Action for Refugees (STAR): National network of student groups campaigning for better treatment of refugee and asylum seekers in the UK.

Welsh Refugee Council: Information, advice and awareness-raising for refugees and asylum seekers living in Wales.

Women

Glasgow Women’s Aid: Provides information, support and temporary refuge accommodation to women, children and young people who are experiencing domestic abuse.

Glasgow Women’s Library: Houses a large collection of materials by, for and about women. Also hosts regular events for women.

Home start: Provides volunteers to give practical support to mothers.

Rape Crisis Scotland: Information on how to get help if you have suffered, or are threatened with, sexual violence. Runs regional advice centres.

Rosemount Lifelong Learning Centre: Runs a variety of adult learning courses from its two centres in North Glasgow. Provides childcare to allow parents to attend classes.

Sandyford: NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde's Sexual Health Website: The website includes information on Sandyford services and on all aspects of sexual health. Sandyford runs sexual health clinics in Greater Glasgow and Clyde. 

Scottish Women’s Aid: Works towards the prevention of domestic abuse and plays a vital role in campaigning and lobbying for effective responses to domestic abuse. Their website contains links to local Women’s Aid groups.

Shakti Women’s Aid, Edinburgh: Based in Edinburgh, Shakti offers support, advocacy and information to all black  and ethnic minority women, children and young people experiencing and/or fleeing domestic abuse.