Over the next few weeks we are conducting two rapid surveys to understand the impact of Covid-19 on new Scots and the organisations which support people to rebuild their lives in Scotland.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had profound impacts on the lives of all of us in Scotland including on those who have sought safety and protection here, and will continue to do so in the months ahead. The impact of the pandemic has also been felt by the groups and organisations supporting refugees and the communities they live in across Scotland.
During the pandemic and the lockdown in Scotland, Scottish Refugee Council has quickly adapted our services and strived to do all we can to support people seeking asylum and refugees through information and advice, direct financial support and provision and ensuring the Home Office, Scottish Government and other public bodies understand and respond to the needs of New Scots.
We have also sought to support organisations across Scotland large and small in their own responses to supporting refugees and their wider community locally. This has included securing funding to quickly disseminate to local groups to meet immediate and basic needs of providing food and digital equipment such as mobile phone top-ups as well as providing advice and information and supporting activities to tackle social isolation of individuals and families.
As Scotland moves into the next phases of how it responds to the pandemic, it is vital that the evolving needs and impact of the pandemic on refugees and the groups that support them is fully understood in order to inform how we and other organisations, funders and the government need to respond.
To support this goal, over the next few weeks we are conducting two rapid surveys: one directly speaking to people with refugee status and in the asylum system, and another with community groups and organisations supporting people to build their lives across Scotland.
Our caseworkers and volunteers will use the survey to proactively check-in directly with our clients across our different services.
Individuals can also complete a short questionnaire by themselves. There are versions in English, Arabic, Farsi, Spanish, Kurdish Sorani, Chinese, Amharic, Pashto, Tigrinya, Turkish and Vietnamese.
We are asking refugee-assisting groups and organisations across Scotland through the New Scots Connect network and beyond to promote the survey amongst those that they support and to complete a short questionnaire on how the pandemic has impacted them organisationally and their concerns for the future.
These rapid surveys also form the initial stages of partnerships of two academic studies with Queen Margaret University and University of Glasgow to document the effects of the sudden impact of the lockdown on refugees’ social isolation and mental health and how already marginalised groups are coping with the pandemic. Funded by Scotland’s Chief Scientist Office, both of these studies will run to November and feed directly into consideration of how Scotland should respond in the longer-term and future to the needs of all those who live in Scotland.
Gary Christie, Head of Policy, Communications and Communities: “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures to limit its spread have led to changes for everyone in Scotland. It is vitally important that the impact and changing impact on refugees and people seeking asylum and the organisations supporting them is more fully understood.”In the news