We’ve launched an exciting new funding opportunity for New Scot communities, designed and managed by refugees.

The Reaching New Scots Fund was created by eight volunteers from refugee backgrounds with the support of funding officers from The National Lottery Community Fund. And we’re delighted to announce that the Fund is now open for applications.

Groups and organisations across Scotland can apply for grants of up to £30,000 to fund projects supporting people seeking safety. A total of £700,000 is available for projects that raise awareness of refugee services and make it easier for people to find support.

Making funding more accessible

Refugee communities often miss out on funding opportunities. The Reaching New Scots Fund aims to address this by making the process of applying for grants fairer and more accessible.

We’re holding a series of online information sessions to support groups through the application process. Completed applications will then be assessed by our panel of New Scot volunteers and staff from The National Lottery Community Fund.

Phoebe Hendy, Community Development Officer at Scottish Refugee Council said:

“It’s exciting to be part of a new and innovative funding process. It’s been a pleasure to see the New Scots in action crafting the fund. I can’t wait to see the positive outcomes that this will have, both for the groups that are funded and for The National Lottery Community Fund who can take forward an even more inclusive approach to grant making.”

A collaborative approach

Our new approach is refugee-led and puts New Scot communities at the heart of funding decisions. The panel of refugee volunteers are gaining valuable experience of working alongside an established funder.

A member of the volunteer panel said:

“At every stage of the process I felt involved. Objectives were set and arrived at in a manner that included all participants. I have learnt much about funding applications. What is required to qualify, and what you have to show to receive funding.”

And The National Lottery Community Fund is gaining greater insight into the challenges faced by small refugee-led organisations.

Kate Still, Chair of The National Lottery Community Fund in Scotland, said:

“We value lived experience in our grant making, and believe that people know best what is needed to help their communities thrive. We are delighted to be partnering with Scottish Refugee Council to ensure that £1.5 million of funding raised by National Lottery players goes to grassroots groups and organisations that are refugee led or provide support for people seeking safety in Scotland.”

The Reaching New Scots Fund is the second phase in a collaborative approach to funding. We hope this project will shape future funding opportunities, making it easier for groups supporting New Scots to apply and successfully secure grants.

Find out more about the Reaching New Scots Fund and apply here.

Rachel Lamb
Author: Rachel Lamb