What difference did we make? Our participants told us that we helped with:

Learning English

96%  felt they had improved their English

  • ‘Great teachers, great atmosphere, really useful and helpful lessons.’
  • ‘I am not shy to speak English with mistakes because people are very kind here, and I like how I can meet people from places all over the world.’
  • ‘When I arrived in Scotland I didn’t speak English, just ‘hello’, ‘yes’, ‘no’! Now I have 2 jobs and I’m a volunteer in a charity shop! I’m more confident!’

Feeling less alone

91%  felt they had met more people and made friends

  • ‘I was feeling so alone in this country. No friends, no family, no anyone. But The Welcoming changed this. I met many people here in Edinburgh, but not many people that wanted to help like the people at The Welcoming. I was just shocked: they backed me, they helped me, and it feels like someone cares about you and tries to do something for you and that I think makes the world better. Some people do things to change the world and make things good, a better world. After Welcoming I feel I have a space in Edinburgh, like this is my home.’
  • ‘It helps me to feel that I belong in Edinburgh. It’s nice to have an organisation like this where in new comers can gather and enjoy loads of activities that made us forget anxiety and sadness of being away from our home country. Being an immigrant and new to everything and everyone , it’s nice to have something to do with someone who knows what you’re going through.’
  • ‘The Welcoming is a second home for me. I feel happy when I come here.’

Connecting with local services

90%  felt they better understood everyday life in Scotland

  • ‘Welcoming change my life. I feel better everytime I’m back home after class. I don’t need translator now to doctor.’
  • ‘It was a good opportunity to communicate with the police face to face that was good enough to break the barriers between the residents and the police. This point was enough for me to feel safer because there are always a lot of barriers between people and the police in my country (Syria).’
  • ‘The NHS information session gave me very practical advice and I later registered with a GP. That made me feel like a citizen of Edinburgh and quite settled down.’

Finding jobs

68%  felt they had been helped to find a job

  • ‘I got the job and from the application to the interview all your advice was really helpful. Professional advice that allowed me to feel more confident with the interview having an idea of what I had to expect. Last thing, but not least, thank you for your fundamental positivity in the moments when I felt I couldn’t make it.’
  • ‘I was exhausted of working on my CV in every different way and of sending applications to any offer I could find, for so long. I felt very, very frustrated. But you give your professional advice in such a confident and cheerful mood, that you make us laugh and give us hope, and that is as important to us as your specific help with our job search.’
  • ‘Coming here made a real difference and helped me to find not only a job, but the job I wanted.’

Feeling supported

93%  felt their life in Edinburgh was better

  • ‘Things like the Welcoming offers make me feel happy and not to miss a lot my country.’
  • ‘I like the opportunity which is given to us to improve our skills and make our life a bit easier in our journey of life in Scotland in a very friendly manner without expecting anything from us.’
  • ‘The Welcoming has helped me a lot and its human warmth has allowed me to overcome my difficult situation.’
  • ‘Welcoming was as helpful as possible for people like me who have just arrived in UK, who, for various reasons, took the risk to come to a place out of their comfort zone, where they know no one and don’t have much.’

Deepening cross-cultural understanding

  • ‘I learned a lot and I think I learned to listen as well, which is very important. And about other cultures, situations in other countries you don’t know with newspapers. I think I’m more open-minded now. Now I feel like a citizen of the world. The Welcoming helped me to know more about Edinburgh like a really open society.’
  • ‘I like the open-minded spirit. No judgement.’
  • ‘I’m happy because my friend became a little bit Syrian while I became a little bit Scottish’

Feeling inspired and hopeful

  • ‘The Welcoming gave me confidence, not just because it gave me information and language skills it made me feel that it was the beginning of a something good, it gave me a positive outlook.’
  • ‘The Welcoming is a warm house in a cold place.’
  • ‘The joy and opportunity to do different things here gave me light.’

* Figures are based on self-report surveys completed by 265 Welcoming participants between Oct 17 and Sept 18

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