Our family-friendly activities help children seeking safety in Scotland to play, learn, make friends and have fun.

Building a new life in an unfamiliar country after being forced to flee your home is never easy. For parents with young children it can be especially challenging.

Families seeking safety in Scotland often live in crushing poverty and isolation in cramped hotel rooms or on the outskirts of towns and cities. People in the asylum system are barred from finding paid work and struggle to survive on just £40 a week. Even before the cost of living crisis, this wasn’t enough to cover basic needs. Now it is pushing families we support to breaking point.

Playing, learning and mixing with other kids is vital for any child’s development. But when parents have to choose between bus travel or putting food on the table, even simple things like going to the library, museum or local park become an unaffordable luxury.

Helping families have fun

Thanks to funding from Children In Need we run a programme of familyfriendly activities for parents and children seeking safety in Scotland.  The programme includes music and dance sessions, sports, arts and crafts, visits to museums, galleries and parks, even trips to the seaside.

More than 150 children from 21 different countries have taken part in our activities. Some families who met as a result of the programme now visit each other’s homes.

And we’ve had some fantastic feedback from the families involved:

“I thought it was a very nice event. My baby had a good time and we both had fun. I felt really good. Thank you very much, it was lovely to meet with the other parents.”

“This is a good idea to get together with families. We are alone here and we miss our home. Today I am satisfied to be in Glasgow. I felt very happy and relaxed. Thank you very much for inviting us.”

“The trips have a positive outcome for both the children and ourselves. It allows us to meet different people from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Yemen and even Scottish people. It allows the children to express themselves and see themselves among the community.”   

“I read about the art gallery before we went but it was more than I expected. It was wonderful.”

“The kids really had an unforgettable happy day.”

The asylum system is tough and it takes a toll on people. Many families we support are coping with devastating trauma and loss, which can affect the physical and mental health of both parents and their children.

Our programme of activities provides a relaxed environment where people can briefly escape from past traumas and uncertainty about the future. As one parent explained, it helps them: “forget about my problems for a while.”

Bringing families together in this way gives children and parents a chance to meet new people, try new things, learn about life in their new communities and have some much-needed fun.

People tell us that taking part in these activities has strengthened family bonds, allowed them to build new friendships and helped them feel happier, more confident and more at home in their communities.

Thanks so much to supporters of Children in Need for making this life changing work possible.

Find out more about the support we offer families seeking safety in Scotland. 

Donate now to help us reach more people in desperate need. 



Rachel Lamb
Author: Rachel Lamb