We are rolling out a Refugee Support Service to help people seeking safety in Scotland feel welcomed and supported in their new home.

Investment from the Scottish Government will enable us to reach people in communities across the country, providing vital information and support so they can put down roots and begin rebuilding their lives.  

Where people seeking safety in Scotland live and work is changing. For a long time, most refugees and people seeking asylum were based in Glasgow. Now, New Scots are settling in towns, cities and rural communities across the country.

We will deliver an integrated Refugee Support Service that is available and accessible to people scross Scotland.  It will bring our existing services together, address gaps, and promote closer collaboration between refugee-led groups, charities and other organisations providing support.

Our approach builds on extensive experience of delivering integration services. It will be shaped by feedback from people with lived experience of the refugee and asylum system and refugee-supporting groups across Scotland.

This investment will enable us to:
  • Provide information and resources to help refugees living in Scotland rebuild their lives and take control of their own future 
  • Ensure people seeking safety can access support that recognises their rights and meets their needs 
  • Build, maintain and strengthen connections between groups, organisations and communities across Scotland that provide support for refugees and people seeking asylum 
  • Help people who are new to Scotland make connections and feel like valued members of their new communities.  
  • Connect decision-makers, service-providers and refugee leaders at local, regional and national levels so they can work together to ensure people seeking safety in Scotland are welcomed, included and supported 

Our chief executive Sabir Zazai said: We welcome this timely investment in a Scotland-wide refugee integration service to ensure people seeking protection across Scotland feel welcomed, supported and able to start rebuilding their lives in their new communities. 

“With a focus on collaboration and partnership, we will work with local authorities, grassroots organisations and communities to build a better future for refugees and people seeking asylum. This approach builds on our extensive expertise of delivering vital integration services over the years.  

“Scotland is known around the world for being a warm and welcoming country. We look forward to building on this proud reputation in the coming years as we aim to make Scotland the best place for refugees to thrive, challenge injustice, achieve their ambitions and empower their communities, no matter where they have come from or how they arrived.” 

Scottish Government Migration and Refugees Minister Emma Roddick said: “Scotland welcomes refugees and people seeking asylum. Supporting them to settle into communities from day one of arrival, and ensuring they can access information and advice, is key to helping people integrate successfully.

“Our funding will allow Scottish Refugee Council to continue their vital work to help people begin to rebuild their lives here. Offering advice on health services, housing and employment support, the continuation of the service will also reduce pressure on public services.

“Respect and compassion underpin our approach to supporting people displaced by conflict or other circumstances beyond their control. While the UK Government pursues harmful policies on asylum and immigration, we will continue to do everything we can to mitigate their impact.” 

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Rachel Lamb
Author: Rachel Lamb