Today Scottish Refugee Council has launched three new toolkits to support refugee integration in Scotland and beyond.
The toolkits are aimed at national, regional, and local public authorities and civic society organisations assisting refugees to rebuild new lives in Scotland and further afield.
For the past two years we have been working on ‘New Scots Integration: Rights & Communities’ – a Scotland-wide project to welcome and support the integration of people who have received refugee protection in Scotland.
The project, funded by the European Union’s Asylum, Migration & Integration Fund (AMIF), directly supported 1190 New Scots to achieve their ambitions for work, education and community life; and 189 organisations across Scotland to build their capacity to welcome and support the integration of New Scots.
It is one of the most ambitious projects undertaken by Scottish Refugee Council and our partners the Bridges Programmes, Workers’ Educational Association and Church of Scotland.
Gary Christie, Head of Communities, said: ‘It can be challenging for those who have fled persecution and violence to understand and access rights and build social connections in a new country.
‘The New Scots Integration: Rights and Communities project was ambitious in its focus: to provide individual advice and support to refugees in Scotland to understand and enjoy their rights; as well as to network and build capacity of local actors in all parts of the country which are now home to individuals and families seeking safety.
‘It has been an exciting journey for us working with so many organisations and individuals to build a more welcoming and fairer Scotland for people seeking protection here. I hope the project’s toolkits equally inform the work of others beyond Scotland.’
Toolkits and other resources
Toolkit 1 – Tools to support individual refugees presents tools drawn from the direct services Scottish Refugee Council, the Bridges Programmes and Workers’ Education association ran. These these include curricula for running “Survival English” courses to meet refugees’ immediate language and social orientation needs and how to develop personalised integration and employment plan with refugees.
Toolkit 2 – Building national and regional infrastructure to support refugee integration describes how we built New Scots Connect, a physical and digital network bringing together all different organisations welcoming and supporting refugees across Scotland at a local level.
Toolkit 3 – Tools for community integration translates the various integration projects we and Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees ran to support community integration at a local level that others can adopt. These include how we delivered a small grants scheme to 93 community groups, a good practice for integration projects building refugees’ social connections and language and how to set up a run a holiday hosting programme.
Alongside the toolkits, today we are also publishing:
- an evaluation of the overall New Scots Integration: Rights & Communities
- polling of Scottish public attitudes to refugee integration over the last two years
- research into mapping community welcome for refugees in Scotland
- three individual reports from the regional gatherings we ran with refugees, local authorities and community groups in North East, South East, and South West Scotland
- four reports setting out the views of refugees with different equality characterises on housing, health, education and employment
- a handbook for setting up and running holiday hosting programme