Launch: New Scots Connect

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Today, Scottish Refugee Council is launching a new Scotland-wide network of local communities, groups, and organisations to enhance the welcoming environment for refugees.

Called New Scots Connect, the network will provide a range of tools, information, and opportunities that will connect groups and organisations and help build their capacity to support and welcome refugees into communities across the country.

A key feature of New Scots Connect will be an online, interactive map of the many different community groups and organisations across Scotland who are supporting refugees and asylum seekers, in an attempt to bring together like-minded people and communities. The map itself will be available for everyone to use - from local groups and third sector organisations to people rebuilding their lives in Scotland to find out what is happening in their area. 

The organisations who join New Scots Connect will also have access to a communications platform so that they can work more closely with each other, share their experiences and knowledge as well as access training and funding opportunities. New Scots Connect is part of a larger project to build on Scotland’s leading role in refugee integration, and will be supported by five new Regional Integration Coordinators, based in the North East, North West, South East, South West, and in Glasgow. These coordinators will offer support and advice to groups where required, and work to build connections with various community groups.

Groups and organisations that work for or with refugees and asylum seekers can complete an online form to be featured on the map. The form will ask about the nature of their work as well as their main activities and contact details.

Jewels Lang, Communities Manager at Scottish Refugee Council, explains Alongside local authorities, I know there are many fantastic community groups and voluntary organisations doing great work right across Scotland to make their communities welcoming, to tackle prejudices, and to support refugees to build new connections and new lives through different activities from befriending and language cafés to employability schemes. We look forward to bringing these groups together and building a supportive, welcoming network of communities.”

Aileen Campbell Cabinet Secretary for Communities said:

“Scotland has a long history of welcoming refugees and asylum seekers from all over the world. It is important that people settling here have access to the support services they need and feel connected to the community.

“I very much welcome the New Scots Connect network, which has been funded through the EU Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund. I am delighted that Scottish Refugee Council is developing new and innovative ways of enabling refugees and communities across Scotland to build links and learn from each other.”

The overarching aim of the network is to connect organisations to learn from each other, to share their expertise and to access support, in turn improving the social connections of refugees.  We want to ensure that refugee communities and receiving communities feel strong, informed, empowered, and that their voices are heard. We hope that refugee and supporting communities across the country will connect with the network and, in turn, help to shape integration policy in Scotland.

"How can we get involved?"

If you are one of the following:

  • Refugee-led community
  • Local or neighbourhood group
  • Integration network
  • Faith-based community
  • Youth group
  • Community of interest/nationality
  • Registered charity
  • Social enterprise
  • Contracted by local authority
  • Community sponsorship group

and you wish to join the network you can easily do that by clicking here. If you are not sure or would like assistance in doing so you can get in touch with our regional coordinators here.