A letter from our CEO Sabir Zazai in response to Covid-19 – what Scottish Refugee Council are doing and how you can help.
Throughout my years in the voluntary and community sector there have been many challenging times, but never have I experienced anything so concerning as the circumstances we now face.
Like everyone else, we at Scottish Refugee Council are trying our best to come to terms with the situation and take measures to safeguard the wellbeing of people seeking sanctuary in Scotland, our staff and volunteers and wider public.
Critical and urgent work is needed to ensure refugees and asylum seekers living in Scotland are safe, have a home, secure food and essentials and are able to access and understand the information provided on COVID19.
What specific steps are we taking?
In collaboration with our partners we are calling on the Home Office to take the necessary measures to ensure that their new arrangements do not increase further destitution and vulnerability of refugees. We are also jointly exploring best approaches to provide practical support and information to reach the most vulnerable.
Over the last two weeks, we have worked non-stop to make sure we will be able to support and stand up for refugees for as long as this crisis lasts – and of course beyond. We have made significant adjustments to the service with necessary safeguards to allow our team to work remotely.
The following are some of the specific measures we have put in place in response to this crisis:
- Our caseworkers and advisers are providing support and information by telephone advice sessions only – please phone us on 0141 223 7979 for info, advice and support.
- All our forthcoming events are postponed until further notice
- We will be available for meetings with partners and stakeholders, however these will be done over a digital platform or telephone
- We will provide ongoing updates on our website and social media channels
- We are utilising our New Scots Connect platform to engage and support communities across Scotland
We are exploring with partners models of community support and food delivery, to ensure that we reach the most vulnerable.
How can you help:
Your support is important as we find our way through this crisis together. I am confident that by working in collaboration and joining forces we can continue to build a more welcoming Scotland for those who are seeking protection in our communities.
To ensure that everyone’s basic needs for food, essentials and up to date information are met, we have opened the Covid19 Refugee Support Fund. As our response is changing daily, we will provide ongoing updates on how you can help but we welcome any donations and support you can offer.
As a supporter of Scottish Refugee Council, you continue to play an important role in promoting Scotland’s longstanding tradition of welcome and hospitality and it is our shared responsibility to continue to offer people a warm Scottish welcome amidst this crisis.
On behalf of the team at Scottish Refugee Council I thank you for your continued support and solidarity.