Research & Policy Work

People fleeing persecution have to leave behind their home, friends and family. Many spend their life savings to pay for the long journey to Scotland and arrive destitute in only the clothes they are wearing.

When they get here they are forbidden to work and they cannot claim mainstream benefits or access homelessness services. They have no choice but to apply for limited financial support from the Home Office.

Restrictive government policy and delays and errors in accessing this asylum support leave people at all stages of the asylum process destitute and they often have no family or friends to turn to.

RST supports refugees and asylum seekers living in Scotland. RST is not able to help refugees and asylum seekers living in England, Wales or Northern Ireland.

RST Destitution Grants are designed to provide support to refugees and asylum seekers in Scotland when no other support is available and there is risk of destitution. Destitution Grants are not intended to replace or complement government support. RST can provide short-term emergency support, which reflects the current levels of Home Office support. Visit the Destitution Grants page to find out more.

RST also supports refugees and asylum seekers further their learning in the UK, with the provision of their Access to Employment and Education (A to EE) grants. Grant applicants have used their grants to enroll in college, to buy books for university courses and to retake qualifications from their home country currently not recognised in the UK.

For other sources of support please visit our links page