We’re delighted to announce that 13 groups supporting New Scots have been awarded funding from The National Lottery Community Fund.

A total of £1.5 million in National Lottery funding was made available for grassroots groups and organisations that are refugee led, or provide support for people seeking safety in Scotland.  The successful organisations will receive grants to deliver projects that help New Scots feel at home in their communities.

Here are just some of the exciting projects that will be supporting people from refugee backgrounds over the next 18 months.

Changing Gear – New Scots Inclusion

Bikes for Refugees will use the funding to provide refugees in Glasgow and Edinburgh with bicycles, giving them the freedom to travel and explore their local area, access support services and build a sense of community.  The project will also help tackle social isolation and build connections through volunteering opportunities, accredited bike mechanic training, group rides, and a bike repair service. Over the next 18 months, the project aims to support 480 people.

CEO of Bikes For Refugees, Steven McCluskey, said: “This new funding will help to provide free mobility and freedom of movement for many isolated and socio-economically disadvantaged New Scots.  It will help people link with essential meetings, community services and activities, as well as promoting physical health and mental wellbeing. Demand for access to bicycles as an essential and sustainable mode of transport is greater than ever. This funding will make a significant contribution to supporting peoples’ resettlement and integration through the transformational power of bikes and cycling.”

Africa Skills Help

Africa Future has been awarded funding to deliver a project helping people from refugee backgrounds to learn new skills. Regular IT and sewing workshops will enable participants to expand their skill sets, improve their mental health and encourage social connections.

Inspire Project

The Welcoming Association plans to work with their partner organisation Volunteering Matters to address the attainment gap amongst young New Scots. The project will provide young people from refugee backgrounds in Dundee and Edinburgh with self-management and social intelligence classes, volunteering opportunities and mentoring.

A spokesperson for the group said: “We are delighted. This funding will allow us to reach 100 young people over the next 18 months. It will also allow the Welcoming Association and Volunteering Matters to learn from each other and enhance our newly formed partnership.”

Happy Faces

The Dumfries and Galloway Multicultural Association will use their grant to deliver the Happy Faces Project, which will support 200 people in the region. The group plan to establish a friendly and welcoming hub where refugees and the wider community can come to exchange ideas. The weekly drop ins and regular gatherings will include employment and education opportunities and cultural food and cooking sessions.

Community Connections

Bellshill And Mossend YMCA will use the funding to offer New Scots a safe space where they can gather to take part in community activities. The Community Connections project aims to support 50 people over the next 18 months through weekly drop-in sessions offering a range of activities and a sharing space for adults.

Ann-Marie Treacy from Bellshill and Mossend YMCA said: “We are truly excited to have been awarded funding to work with our New Scot’s community. We’re really looking forward to welcoming everyone and hope that we can create a safe and engaging space for young people and their families to integrate into the local community.”

Fresh Start Fresh Career

In North Lanarkshire, Fresh Start plan to use the funding to help New Scots find work. The  project will help 100 people to build their language skills and access employment opportunities. Over the next 18 months, the project will provide support sessions on apprenticeships, ESOL jobs fairs, inspirational workshops and 1-2-1 employability sessions.

Remaining funds will be used to create a refugee-led funding opportunity in collaboration with The National Lottery Community fund.

Find out more about our work with refugee communities.

These projects are made possible thanks to funding raised by players of The National Lottery for good causes.

Rachel Lamb
Author: Rachel Lamb