August 4, 2016
by rst2012
Comments Off on Farewell Diana!

Farewell Diana!

August 2016

Diana Rix, our Coordinator since June 2014, is leaving RST to move abroad. In her time with us, Diana has made an enormous contribution to RST by working tirelessly with our volunteers to raise funds and increase awareness of the support we offer. As well as providing support for our Board, Diana has kept our finances in order and has secured the funding needed for us to continue running our much-needed Destitution and Access to Education & Employment grants schemes.

Diana’s knowledge and enthusiasm for her role will be much missed and we wish her all the best in her next venture.

July 26, 2016
by rst2012
Comments Off on RST provided over 200 destitution grants between April and June this year

RST provided over 200 destitution grants between April and June this year

RST’s destitution grants April – June 2016

RST provided 212 destitution grants from April to June 2016, supporting 334 people and totalling £16,278. The average grant was £77. The average monthly spend was £5,426.

Dest grants April - June 16 - graph 1

[Click image to enlarge]

 Key facts

  • 73% of lead applicants were male
  • 77% of applicants were single
  • 25% of applicants were homeless at the time of the application.
  • 6% of applicants had applied to RST for support before.

Asylum status

We provided 43 grants to refugees and 16 to people who were yet to claim asylum, (15 of which were for travel). We provided 29 grants to people waiting for a decision on their asylum application and 65 to people who were in the process of submitting a new application.

Dest grants April - June 16 - graph 2

[Click image to enlarge]

Reasons for claim

We provided 104 grants for ‘essential living expenses’. This included 17 ‘breathing space’ grants for people at the end of the asylum process. Thirty-nine grants were for new refugees awaiting mainstream benefits. We provided 56 travel grants, 33 of which were for travel to Liverpool to submit fresh evidence.

Dest grants April - June 16 - graph 3

[Click image to enlarge]


The largest nationality groups were Eritrean (15.6%), Syrian (11.8%), Iranian (10.8%), Sudanese (9.4%), and Iraqi (6.1%).


Seventeen percent of applications (37) included children. RST supported 88 children in these three months. Twelve of these families were refugees.

Five families had been granted refugee status but were awaiting mainstream benefits. Five further families (17 children) needed support with family reunion.

Nine children (from six applications) were homeless at the time of the application.

July 5, 2016
by rst2012
Comments Off on DASS has a new Accommodation Worker!

DASS has a new Accommodation Worker!

We would like to welcome our new Accommodation Worker, Dodee Olangi, to the DASS team. Dodee’s previous experience working with vulnerable women as a volunteer with the British Red Cross Women’s Orientation Service will be invaluable in her new role at RST, supporting DASS clients living in our temporary accommodation.

July 4, 2016
by rst2012
Comments Off on ‘Migration and the Art of Movement’

‘Migration and the Art of Movement’

On the evening of 17 June 2016, the Oxford Migration Studies Society ‘took over’ the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, England. The event was entitled ‘Migration and the Art of Movement’ and it featured an exciting programme based on this theme. The programme included a jazz band, theatre group performance, interactive exhibit, short video clips, and poetry supplied by the Refugee Survival Trust. One of our RST volunteers at the event said: ‘The museum take over engaged people on issues of migration in a way that emphasised the art involved in movement. The iconic Pitt Rivers museum was a fantastic place to host this event, which saw students, academics and members of the public come together to learn about different aspects of migration. A big thanks goes to the Oxford Migration Studies Society for inviting RST to be part of it.

Pit rivers photo_June 16

June 24, 2016
by rst2012
Comments Off on RST is recruiting a new part-time Coordinator

RST is recruiting a new part-time Coordinator

RST is looking for a new Coordinator to join our small staff team. This is a part-time post (17.5 hours per week) based in Glasgow.

Please see the Job Description attached.

If you would like to apply please complete the attached Application Form and send it, along with your equalities and monitoring form, to: by 12 noon on Friday 15th July 2016.


June 3, 2016
by rst2012
Comments Off on Refugee Week events: Reflecting on the integration of refugees and East Lothian guided walk.

Refugee Week events: Reflecting on the integration of refugees and East Lothian guided walk.

Refugee week logoAs part of the upcoming Refugee Week (20-26 June) we have two Refugee Survival Trust events coming up over on the East coast.

On  Saturday 18th June head along to the Laurieston Centre in Edinburgh for our debate, “A new beginning: Reflecting on the integration of refugees”. This debate and discussion includes speakers from the Scottish Refugee CouncilThe Welcoming Association and the Syrian Scottish Community. There’ll be lots of scope for audience participation and discussion so come along and join us.

On Saturday 25th June Refugee Survival Trust is running a local history walk in East Lothian. Starting at the Carriage House in Pencaitland, local resident Gregor Robertson will be guiding people round the beautiful Winton and Fletcher Estates, followed by tea and sandwiches in the church hall. Don’t miss this great chance to get out and about in the beautiful Scottish countryside at midsummer. East Lothian

Tell your friends you’re coming along by joining the Facebook event pages – A new beginning: Reflecting on the integration of refugees and East Lothian guided walk.

There are lots of other events happening across the UK as part of Refugee Week and in Glasgow the Scottish Refugee Council ‘s Refugee Festival Scotland  running from 14th – 26th June has something for everyone.

May 20, 2016
by rst2012
Comments Off on Why does RST give so many grants to new refugees?

Why does RST give so many grants to new refugees?

Because unfortunately, it is needed.

Many people who have been granted refugee status face destitution immediately due to a fault in the system. This is when refugees understandably believe that the chances of being made destitute by the asylum system are behind them. Sadly this is too often not the case.

The asylum process works as follows: if your claim for asylum is accepted you have refugee status. This means the UK Home Office has acknowledged that you need protection in the UK and that you can remain here. It is the news people within the asylum system have been hoping for and dreaming of. You are entitled to work, and can claim mainstream benefits (including housing support) while you look for a job. You then enter the Home Office’s 28 day ‘move-on’ period, which is where the problems begin.

The ‘move-on’ period

The ‘move-on’ period is the 28 days after you receive news of your refugee status, during which you are required to ‘move-on’ from asylum support (provided by the Home Office) to mainstream support (proved by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP)). Twenty-eight days to move from one bureaucratic government system to another. Twenty-eight days to find a new home and to start looking for work.

After these 28 days your asylum support stops, regardless of whether your DWP support is in place or not. Unfortunately, rather than 28 days, it takes an average of 42-50 days to receive your first DWP payment, according to the Holistic Integration Service (2015) report by the Scottish refugee council. This gap of 2 – 3 weeks during which refugees and their families have no means of support is the point at which they often fall into destitution.

RST grants are available as a last resort for refugees and people seeking asylum who are facing destitution. It is clear that the government’s time frame is too tight, and support is not in place for new refugees navigating a new system. RST provide an additional two weeks of support to help people and families while they transfer onto mainstream support, bridging the gap left by the government.

As pointed out by the British Red Cross in their report ‘The move-on period: an ordeal for new refugees’ (2014) this situation could be easily avoided if:

  • The move-on period was extended to avoid a break in support
  • The first day of this ‘move-on’ period was the day new refugees receive their key documents (e.g. NI number)
  • All Job Centre Plus staff were trained and up-to-date on issues associated with refugee transition.

In 2015-16 RST provided 238 grants to support new refugees moving on to mainstream benefits, 39 of which included children. Until changes are made to the system RST will continue to support individuals and families facing destitution where the government fails.