Winter Appeal: The Bigger Picture
The biggest challenge we face this winter is undoubtedly, the cost of living crisis which is why this is the focus for our Winter Appeal. Across the UK, society’s most vulnerable face worsening conditions. According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), from September to October, more than half (54%) of adults reported that their cost of living had increased compared with a month ago.
Measures taken by the government in 2022 to increase means-tested payments such as Universal Credit and the State Pension, meant that asylum support was increased to £40.85 per week. This has to cover all food, toiletries, medication (non-prescription), clothing, travel and anything else a person might need to live a comfortable life.
The ONS has also recently published that 94% of adults had reported that the price of their food shop had increased in the last month, indicating that this amount of support may not be sufficient to meet an asylum seeker’s essential needs.
It’s also a huge concern that once someone receives refugee status, (which enables them to work and save money), are only given a week to find accommodation. The Scottish Refugee Council have stated that:
“We have seen an increase in families and individuals reaching out for help because they have been made homeless after receiving their refugee status.”
There is a 35-day delay between applying for Universal Credit and receiving the first payment, so those receiving refugee status aren’t getting sufficient time to look for accommodation amidst an affordable housing shortage in Scotland.
My City is a Refuge
As a charity, we are dedicated to helping New Scots (refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants) to feel welcome and at home in Edinburgh. We support New Scots to learn English, find jobs and access local services, offering opportunities for friendship, sustainable living, creativity, and health and wellbeing.
Our weekly Community Fridge is a vital service providing free food to New Scots who are at risk of food poverty. We organise food donations via Fareshare, local supermarkets, donations from other organisations and our Community Garden.
In the last year (2022 – 2023) our Community Fridge enabled 234 households to regularly access nutritious food and we were able to offer volunteering opportunities through the Community Fridge to our members.
We also offer friendship group activities in Edinburgh, with our weekly Women’s Conversation Space, a Conversation Cafe and Scotland for Newcomers who do outings and walks around the city.
Tackling social isolation is essential to building stronger communities and is a key part of the resettlement process. Making friends brings strength and confidence and during the dark winter months, it’s even more pertinent that we keep people connected.
Let’s show why our city (Edinburgh) is a refuge for New Scots…
Any donation you can give, no matter how small, will be greatly appreciated. It all helps to keep vital services like the Community Fridge, English classes and befriending activities operational.
Donate to our Winter Appeal today to support refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in Edinburgh through the challenges of winter, the cost of living crisis and building lives in a new country.
A donation this winter would help The Welcoming keep running essential services such as our weekly Community Fridge, Home Energy Advice, English classes and Employability to make people job-ready and more confident, as well as our friendship groups which keep people connected to their communities.
Donate online via LocalGiving or post a cheque to The Welcoming Association, Unit 1, 20 Westfield Avenue, Edinburgh EH11 2TT.
Winter Appeal: Ways to Give
Donate monthly via LocalGiving.
Give a one-off donation
Give a one-off donation via LocalGiving.
Fundraise to support refugees, asylum seekers and migrant workers in Edinburgh through LocalGiving.
Send a cheque
Post a cheque made payable to The Welcoming Association to The Welcoming Association (Donation), Unit 1, 20 Westfield Avenue, Edinburgh EH11 2TT.