Annual Report 2016-17

Who we are

An independent, anti-racist homelessness and human rights charity (SC027577) dedicated to supporting refugees and migrants to rebuild their lives.

We believe in a society where everyone has the right to live stable and fulfilled lives, free from poverty, homelessness or inequality.

What we do

We assist refugees seeking sanctuary from war and persecution to overcome crisis situations, for example, the removal of basic human rights such as refuge, shelter, the right to work or hold a bank account.

We provide proactive advice, emergency support and free shelter to those at risk of destitution through Room for Refugees.

We provide pre-eviction advice to asylum seekers about to be evicted from asylum accommodation.

We support migrants to know their rights, secure paid work and stabilise their lives. We assist established ethnic minority communities to overcome bad housing.

We support victims of racist harassment and hate crime, and successfully challenge council homelessness decisions.

We provide signposting, proactive casework, emergency humanitarian support to assist refugees and asylum seekers to rebuild their lives quickly and stand on their own resources.

We offer welfare advice and money skills to refugees and migrants to assist in their resettlement in Scotland. We provide volunteering and training.

We lead human rights campaigns and humanitarian appeals. We persistently challenge anti-immigrant and anti-refugee sentiment, and the indefinite detention of innocent families and individuals. In all these areas we use our expertise to effect policy change.

We will help in all these ways until we have a society that treats everyone fairly, respects people’s human rights and leaves no one destitute.

Support our work

To continue this work, we depend on the financial support of government, charitable trusts, our members, trade unions and academic bodies and individuals from all sections of society.

Regular donations help us plan out support for those in greatest need. To give regularly, or a one off donation, go to

If you are an organisation sharing our values and would like to become a full or associate member, please visit:

Tel +44 141 353 2220


Latest News

Mears Group takes over Scotland’s asylum Housing contract from September 2019 while SERCO “loses” Scotland but wins English asylum contracts worth £1.9BN.

Social housing specialist Mears Group PLC has been handed contracts worth £1bn from the UK government. As part of the contract, Mears will be responsible for the upkeep of thousands of homes occupied by new refugees, those just granted leave to remain and asylum seekers at varying stages of the…

Serco’s plans to evict 300 asylum seekers onto the streets of Glasgow

Refugee homelessness charity, Positive Action in Housing, has condemned plans by Rupert Soames’ Serco group to evict 300 asylum seeker families and lone men and women, many of whom are fleeing war or persecution in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, onto the streets of Glasgow. Robina Qureshi, Director of Positive Action…

Day 9: A better day for Syrian Refugee, Shabaz

Shabaz’s mother remains in Syria caring for elderly relatives and doesn’t know what has happened to her son as her husband can’t bring himself to tell her. But, he says, she knows something is wrong. The guilt of what happened to their son weighs heavily on him. As he…

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When a far-right terrorist killed 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh USA last year, Muslim communities raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the victims. Now the Jewish community in Pittsburgh is reciprocating the kindness after a massacre at two mosques in New Zealand.

"Unfortunately we are all too familiar with the devastating effect a mass shooting has on a faith community," said Meryl Ainsman, chair of the board of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. "We are filled with grief over this senseless act of hate. May those who were injured heal quickly and fully, and may the memories of the victims forever be a blessing."

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As I listened to his story with the respected academic Carlo Morelli, President Elect of UCU Scotland, Bamidele Chika Agbakuribe’s demeanour reminded me of the wrongly convicted man in the movie To Kill a Mocking Bird.

Bamidele , 38, came to Scotland in 2016 with his wife Emanuella, also 38, and 4 children to study in Scotland. He lost his sight at the age of 16. Despite this he worked hard to study and become a primary school teacher, then a secondary school teacher and later a lecturer. He is a strong Christian. He came to this country to gain access to the facilities for blind people that he needs to study his PhD. The University of course gets thousands of pounds in fees.

Instead of finding state of the art facilities and working alongside other students, Bamidele says he was isolated from other PhD students and put next to a fire exit. He says he was left without proper supervision or software. He received only demo versions of essential software, all of which conspired to make it impossible for him to complete his assignments.

He says that after he complained about a lack of resources, facilities and support, Professor Tim Kelly had his student status revoked on the basis that Bamidele had not made sufficient academic progress. His email account was also blocked.The University then informed the Home Office who promptly informed Bamidele that he and his family would be deported March 26 2019. Talk about a Hostile environment.

Bamidele said:

“My thought was that studying in a developed country would provide me with the prospects to benefit from state-of-the-arts equipment, necessary support and sound tutelage. Believing that University of Dundee will provide these as promised, I decided to enroll for a PhD course with its School of Education and Social Work.I had planned to graduate within three years and returning to Nigeria with novel expertise. Regrettably, these high hopes have not only been dashed with neglect, exclusion, lack of adequate supervision, dearth of appropriate support, but also termination of study. It is so awful that I was excluded from my colleagues under the pretence of fire safety. This seclusion took place after I had already spent about one year. Whilst my group occupied different rooms, I was abandoned in a hot-desk room, where I was asked to limit my attendance in order to allow a staff to supervise students therein. Ironically and shockingly, the ill-treatments are coming from those whom I felt would know better. It has been a nightmare; I am heartbroken.”

I spoke with Kelly on Monday 18th March. He claims a panel, not he , decided Bamidele should have his status revoked.

I asked him to recommend Bamidele’s reinstatement. “So would you do that? I asked. To which Professor Tim Kelly replied one word, NO.

No regard for a blind man who sold everything in Nigeria to pay for “state of the art facilities”. What must other international students be going through? Are they terrified of removal.

No regard for the children about to be uprooted.

The University , whose principal is Andrew Atherton, says it spent “tens of thousands” on him. Even if this were true, it is deeply insensitive to make such a statement.

Is the University objecting to providing equipment for disabled students?

Positive Action in Housing has agreed to take up Bamidele’s case, not lease because the family stand to be left destitute in Scotland. By highlighting Bamidele’s case we hope to highlight the predcament of all international students who finance our universities.

Bamidele overcame the odds to get this far until he got to Scotland. How could he have succeeded so well in his own coutnry and then failed so badly here? We believe there are injustices to answer. The best way would be for the university to hear his case and reinstate him. But time is not on his side.

Let’s show Bamidele a real Scottish welcome and stand up for his rights to be reinstated.

Robina Qureshi


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