News

Helping New Scots settle

Published: 15 Aug 2021 00:01

Refugee projects awarded £2.8 million.

Organisations and community groups working to support refugees in Scotland will share £2.8 million through a new grant scheme.

In total, 56 projects will receive funding to deliver initiatives designed to help New Scots settle in their adopted communities by promoting employability, education, health and social and cultural connections.

Grants awarded include:

  • £104,615 for employment and training support for refugees in the West of Scotland
  • £72,930 to help Arabic speakers in Dundee, Fife and Clackmannanshire access certification to work in the Scottish construction industry
  • £114,987 to improve mental health and reduce loneliness and social isolation of refugees and separated children in Edinburgh
  • £23,075 for English language learning (ESOL) in Midlothian that focuses specifically on preparing learners for the workplace

Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison said:

“We are committed to supporting the integration of asylum seekers into our communities from day one, not just when leave to remain has been granted.

“The funding and development of these projects will support our aim to have cohesive, connected and multi-cultural communities where people can access services and be supported into employment and education.

“Scotland has a long history of welcoming asylum seekers and refugees from all over the world. In re-building their lives they help make the country stronger, more compassionate and more successful for everyone.”

This project is part funded by the EU Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and is part of the New Scots Refugee Integration Delivery Project. It is led by the Scottish Government in partnership with COSLA, Scottish Refugee Council and the UNESCO Chair at the University of Glasgow.

Scottish Refugee Council CEO Sabir Zazai said:

“There is such a strong will in Scotland to support newcomers and make people feel welcome. Equally strong is the desire from refugee-led groups to make a contribution and use their skills and expertise to create flourishing, well integrated communities.

“This funding will build on all of this and allow groups and organisations to strengthen and deepen their work with people seeking safety in Scotland.”

COSLA’s Community Wellbeing spokesperson, Councillor Kelly Parry said:

“I am thrilled so many local authorities have secured funding to implement a wide range of exciting projects aimed at enhancing refugee integration.

“From improving refugee employability to developing tailored mental health support for young asylum seekers, the projects being funded are both ambitious in their scope and innovative in their approach.”

UNESCO Chair at the University of Glasgow, Alison Phipps, said:

“The New Scots policy is regarded with acclaim internationally, modelled on human rights and dignity for all.

“It is especially heartening to see refugee led projects at the forefront and to know that new and expanded work will take place across Scotland.”

Background

The project is part of the New Scots refugee integration strategy, which aims to ensure refugees live in safe and welcoming communities that enable them to rebuild their lives from the day they arrive in Scotland. It has been endorsed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, who commended the involvement of refugees and asylum seekers in its development.

New Scots Refugee Integration Strategy 2018-2022

The Scottish Government is already providing annual funding of £940,058 from the Connected Communities budget to organisations working with refugees and asylum seekers.