In 2020, 9 Edinburgh based New Scot families donated their time and skills to sew over 2000 face masks for local Edinburgh community organisations free of charge. This project both provides an opportunity for the New Scot community to contribute to the pandemic relief efforts, but creates pathways for up-skilling and possible employment pathways.
This initiative has been made possible by funding by Foundation Scotland and the National Emergencies Trust and distributed by the Scottish Refugee Council. Click here to read more about the project.
VOTING RIGHTS FOR SYRIAN REFUGEES
Re-Act, in partnership with Syrian Futures,Media Education and the Edinburgh Electoral Registration Office, have created an instructional video to help Syrian refugees get on the electoral register.
With the elections just weeks away, we hope this video will assist arabic speaking New Scots with their registration process. This video was created after the New Scot community we work with reported they found it incredible hard to complete the necessary paperwork to exercise their right to vote.
Many thanks to our partners for their hard work on this project. And to our Re-Act volunteers, for their countless hours preparing!
A weekly playgroup for refugee children in Edinburgh. Entirely volunteer run since launching in 2016, the group welcomes 30-40 children each Friday to enjoy various music, sports, arts and crafts activities, kindly hosted by The Thistle Foundation.
The group gives the children the opportunity to develop social skills, learn new practical skills and facilitate their integration into their new community.
We're always happy to hear from people who want to offer new skills to the group, lead workshops or stage performances. To get involved please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
WOMEN'S GROUP AND COMPUTER CLASSES
Alongside the playgroup, each Friday we invite the refugee women from Edinburgh & surrounding areas to participate in a group of their own. In this social environment, they engage with a range of activities, improve their English language skills and learn more about the local area.
The group aims to help the women with general wellbeing and mental health and with their integration into their new home. This group is organised by both Re-Act volunteers and the participants themselves, and kindly hosted by our friends at The Thistle Foundation. This activity is currently on hold due to COVID19.
We are also in the process of running a pilot project where 5 ladies from the New Scot community are receiving online basic computer classes over a 12 week period. Giving them the skills they need to be independent and leaders in their communities.
The Happiness Group is a weekly social meeting for the older members of Edinburgh's refugee community. Each week, the motivated participants explore and learn about the city, ask for practical information, and interact with a wider community of friends, all of which helps with social integration and general wellbeing.
It was launched in early 2020 on the suggestion of the participants themselves, aged 50-75, who play a central role in organising the group's activities.
THE HOMEWORK CLUB
The Home Work Club Project provides 1 to 1 after school tutoring for Primary School students.
In partnership with the University of Edinburgh, experienced tutors volunteer to prepare one-to-one classes tailored to the needs of each student and delivered virtually. With this structured and focussed approach to learning, students can gain the language skills necessary to better integrate in their Scottish communities, and improve their prospects of further education and employability.
If you'd like to join the Home Work tuition team, please contact to discuss.
A major part of our work is organising the collection and distribution of emergency aid items collected throughout Scotland to refugees at home and abroad. Since 2015, we have distributed over 1,500 tonnes of Scottish donations to refugee camps throughout Europe and the Middle East. We have also assisted numerous New Scot families with settling in to their new homes with donated goods.
We're always happy for more helping hands when sorting through and packing the items received! If you're interested in joining the Donation Day volunteer team, please contact email@example.com.
*Due to the current pandemic we have paused this project and are not taking any donations from the public at this time. Sign up to our newsletter or follow us on Facebook for updates.
Since 2015 we have provided a Welcome Pack for every Syrian child and young person coming to Edinburgh via the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme and similar programmes. To date we've distributed nearly 300 packs.
The backpacks can be used as schoolbags and contain useful items such as pencil cases, stationery and water bottles, hats, scarves, gloves, underwear, soft toys, books and games. All intended to make the child or young person feel welcome and help them to settle in. Our Facebook group now has 320 members who make up packs, often at short notice, as well as providing toys, clothes and other items needed by newly-arrived families.