Peer Research group Project

Scottish Refugee Integration Service (SRIS) provides information, advice and support to refugees who have recently achieved status and are living in the Glasgow area. Support is provided individually and through groups and courses. SRIS is delivered partly in the partner organisation offices in central Glasgow and also in community locations across Glasgow. As well as individual refugees, the service also supports family members arriving in the UK under family reunion.

The Peer Research group was formed in November 2017 to support the evaluation of Scottish Refugee Integration Service. Group members will support the evaluation and development of the service to improve integration services for refugees by:

  • Sharing their own experiences.
  • Helping with the research design.
  • Collecting information and views of other refugees about integration services.

The group met four times for training between November 2017 and January 2018. In the meetings, participants received research training and we worked with them to identify the important questions to ask and the best way of carrying out the research.

Peer Researchers will take a lead role in collecting evaluation information and feedback from refugees who have used integration advice and support services. Depending on what the group decides will be the best approach, they could be interviewing people they know, or facilitating group discussions.

What will happen to the research information collected?

The collected information will help Scottish Refugee Council and our partners to improve our services and support decision-makers to better understand refugees’ needs and experiences of settling in Scotland. The refugees whose information and views are collected in the research will not be individually identified.

Abdullah from Yemen said on becoming a peer researcher – what he hoped the outcomes would be:

 “I think it is very interesting and I am enjoying the training. I hope to find things that you can improve for refugees in the future and overcome some of the difficulties for them. This will be really good.”


‘’The value of peer research is that the people who have used the service are also the people who are carrying out the interviews or focus groups – they have been through similar experiences and they may also share a common language or culture with the interviewee. This can help people who are being interviewed to feel comfortable and to open up to the researcher.’’ Says Elaine Connelly (Independent Research Consultant appointed to carry out the Refugee Integration service evaluation)







What does each SRIS partner do?

Scottish Refugee Council (SRC)

Integration advisers provide one-to-one ‘casework’ support to individuals and their dependents who have recently been granted leave to remain following an asylum claim.  People can access support from their named integration adviser for up to 12 months after they are granted status.

Scottish Refugee Council begins providing support as early as possible during the 28-day ‘move-on period’, once status is granted. Support begins with a Triage session to address the most urgent issues of accessing benefits, housing, legal documentation and health. A full (holistic) assessment is then booked with the individual’s integration adviser. Further appointments and telephone/email contact are provided as required, followed by three- and six- month review sessions focussing on the Personal Integration Plan and individual goals.

Advisers also spend at least one day a week in community locations, providing group information sessions and individual advice.






British Red Cross (BRC)

BRC caseworkers and group workers support families who have recently been reunited or are in the process of being reunited.  They use a ‘whole family’ approach to identify the needs and wishes of all family members.

BRC Group workers offer an eight-week group programme to sponsors and their dependants to support integration. They also offer one-off weekly health and education information sessions for reunited families.

Bridges Programmes

Bridges Programmes offer ten-week ‘Life Skills’ locally based courses to refugees who are able to speak and understand English well enough to participate in the course without interpretation support. The Life Skills course aims to build confidence, improve communication skills and prepare participants for employment in the UK. The course also includes self- development and personal safety elements. Participants who have successfully completed the course receive a Life Skills certificate. Participants are offered further support to find suitable training and voluntary work placements to grow their UK-based work experience.

Workers’ Educational Association Scotland (WEA)

Refugees with basic skills in English who cannot immediately access full ESOL courses can be referred by their SRC advisers and BRC caseworkers to WEA Scotland for a 10-week ‘Survival English’ ESOL course. The aim is to enable new refugees to quickly make progress in English. Support is provided by tutors to help participants who are ready to progress to college ESOL courses.

Integration Networks

Three local integration networks (Cranhill, Govan and Maryhill) are hosting SRC advisers once a week. The four local Integration Networks (including North Glasgow) are also supporting SRIS group sessions and courses.  

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