Supporting Syrian families in Dundee

family advice

We are pleased to announce that Scottish Refugee Council is to work with individuals and families from the Syrian community in Dundee. Working in partnership with the local authority and services in the area, we will support people who have recently arrived from Syria to settle in and to go on to achieve their hopes and ambitions for life in Scotland.

The service will provide one-to-one advice and support on all aspects of setting into a new place with the aim of giving people the best possible start to life in Dundee. This will include practical support to help people find their way around the city, making sure they feel safe and orientated; making sure that their new home and environment is suitable for them; support with the paperwork involved in setting up a new home and helping people plan their first few weeks in Scotland.

Once people have found their feet, we will work with them to develop a plan to work towards  achieving their hopes and ambitions. 

Crucially, the service will draw on the knowledge and experience of the Syrian families who have already settled in Dundee over the past two years.

Using a peer support model, newly arrived families will be able to benefit from the wealth of experience and insight people have gained over the last two years. 

Wafa Shaheen, Head of Integration at Scottish Refugee Council said:

"We'll be building on a lot of good work and engagement that's already taken place in Dundee so we are really looking forward to being able to work with the community to support people in every way we can.

"We will not be doing things for people, we'll be doing it with them. Our approach is to help build people's independence and confidence about  making a life in a new place. We will build on people's skills and talents and help develop their self reliance. But we will also advocate for people's needs and for services where we see they are needed.

"Part of the service will involve checking in on the families who have been here a couple of years to see how their lives are going now. What have they learned? Where do they feel they are in relation to where they would like their lives to be? Do they feel part of the community? Are their children making friends and settling in at school? Do they have ambitions for work or study that we can help them achieve? 

"We'll be asking people what their hopes and dreams are for their lives in Scotland and how we can help them make those a reality.Some people might have plans to open businesses. Others have told us they hope to improve their English so they can have better conversations with their neighbours. Most people are desperate to know that their children are safe, happy and settled so that will be a focus for us."

Dundee is one of thirty one local authorities in Scotland to provide a home to families resettled through the UK government's Syrian Resettlement programme. More than forty families have settled in Dundee via this scheme and the city plans to continue to receive and resettle people who have fled the war in Syria.