Social Security Experience Panels - ethnic minorities: visual summary

This summary is on research with ethnic minority groups about their past experiences of social security and the barriers that exist to them in accessing support. It provides information about the steps Social Security Scotland is taking to help overcome these barriers

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Places for Social Security Scotland to promote its benefits

Participants were asked about what Social Security Scotland could do to raise awareness about its benefits.  

Many suggested that information should be placed in locations that were visible and trusted by ethnic minorities

'Religious buildings - Mosques, Temples, Gurdwaras'

'Local Asian radio networks'

'Nurseries and schools (For Best Start Grant)'

'Ethnic minority advice centres and support groups'


'GP clinics, pharmacies, dentists'

'Popular social media sites'

Several wondered if there were opportunities for Social Security Scotland to build links with local community groups and ethnic minority advice centres. 

They felt that local groups were highly trusted by ethnic minorities already and would help to encourage others to apply.

"They should work with ethnic minority centres who can provide information sessions to the public who trust them."

"Look for spaces for community events. We have a nice hall in the town here. Invite people. Make it friendly. People could bring food."

Some said that they would want information in neutral locations which any member of the public could walk into. 

"I’d go to somewhere accessible. Where you are not judged or discriminated. Somewhere neutral. Where a student or a doctor could have walked in."

"I got a letter about Best Start Grant from the nursery where my kid goes. Newsletter are given every term. I really appreciate it. There could be more things like this."

Several said that face to face sessions would help make Social Security Scotland more approachable to the public.

"There’s lots of ways to improve communication between organisations and the public. Sometimes it might be direct – i.e. getting staff to come to local areas and explain the benefits. Other times it might be joining with charities, having regular focus groups, and connecting people."

A few said that face to face communication would be the most accessible way for them to find out information. 

"Face to face gives time to ask questions for those who know nothing about the benefits system. This is the best way for the elderly."

"Easier to understand face to face – my hearting is much better when I am face to face with someone."



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