Every year, we support hundreds of New Scots as they begin the difficult task of rebuilding their lives. Lets look back at what we’ve achieved together over the last 12 months.
When a person is granted refugee protection, they are no longer entitled to Home Office support. They have just 28 days to find a new place to live. As a result, more than 95% of the newly recognised refugees we support experience homelessness.
Our team produced a step by step guide to support New Scots that found themselves homeless during the pandemic. With the help of volunteers who have lived experience of asylum, we also created videos and digital resources. These tools have been translated into multiple languages. They offer practical advice and explain changes made by landlords and local authorities as a result of Covid-19.
We’ve also been working closely with the Federation of Local Housing Associations in Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire, a group of six landlords committed to supporting refugees who want to settle in the region.
Learning and Development
We now offer training online! Our specialist programme helps frontline workers to better understand and support refugees.
Courses cover everything from working with interpreters and understanding the complex asylum process, to supporting unaccompanied refugee children and survivors of human trafficking.
Jackie Kerr, Humanitarian Protection Coordinator at Dundee City Council said: “We want to raise awareness and improve understanding of the difference in immigration status for people who are refugees, asylum seekers and victims of human trafficking. Immigration rules are complex and poorly worded advice can have a devastating effect on a person’s situation. It’s important for us to work with Scottish Refugee Council to ensure resources and factsheets are accurate and relevant.”
Despite the challenges of Covid-19, we’re still working with New Scots and potential employers to help people find meaningful paid work. Our Refugee Employment programme offers clients one-to-one support to understand the UK job market, pinpoint existing skills, and identify career goals.
In partnership with HMRC, Esteem UK and Barclays, we’ve launched online training courses and a mentoring programme to provide refugees with practical experience. These partnerships enabled seven New Scots to find paid work last year – and we’ve received some excellent feedback:
“I find it really helpful that [employers] get to see us. They see that we are just ok people – a bit different culture, don’t speak English that great, but we have skills and qualities and we can bring value to the company.”
Rania* and her family arrived in the UK in 2018. The following year, she was granted refugee status. Our Refugee Integration Service helped her to apply for financial support and find a safe and secure place to live. Rania worked as an engineer in her home country and was keen to make use of her skills and experience.
She was offered a place on one of our online courses, which are designed to help refugees find work in Scotland. After completing the training, Rania got a job as a contract manager with an employer that our team has built a partnership with. She is thriving in her new role and is eager to continue building on her career.
*her name has been changed to protect her identity
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