Facts and figures

A ground breaking refugee hosting network pioneered in Scotland with 17 years of expertise in safe and rewarding refugee hosting.

Latest Update: 31 December 2017

  • Since 2002, Room for Refugees hosts have provided over 61,000  nights of shelter and positively transformed the lives of thousands of children, women and men from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds.
  • Between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2017, the programme provided 21,957 nights of free shelter. This is a 279% increase on last year when 5,781 nights of shelter were provided.
  • As of 31 December 2017, we have 6,700  fully registered hosts ready to offer shelter to refugees and those seeking refuge from war and persecution.
  • £1,096,450* is the estimated savings in the cost of shelter as a result of charities like the British Red Cross and local government using the Room for Refugees Programme for their destitute clients in 2016-17. *Estimated at £50 per night.
  • 70% of our hosts (4,610) are in Scotland, England, Wales, N. Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
  • 2,101 hosts are in the USA and this part of our work will be developed in the future.
  • 350 external caseworkers from 221 refugee, homelessness and aid agencies across Scotland, England and Wales now part of the room for refugees network.
  • In 2016-17, the project made a significant difference for 265 families and individuals who were enabled to progress or resolve their legal situation and rebuild their lives.
  • At any given time, we have around 70 families or individuals being sheltered by our hosts. We expect this number to grow. In 2016-17, the room for refugees programme worked closely with social workers in 3 Scottish local authority areas, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Ayrshire, to successfully identify potential foster carers or hosts from its register for unaccompanied asylum seeker children.
  • 156 families and individuals were actively pursuing legal resolution to their case. 52 families and individuals secured Section 4/95 or SW support .25 families and individuals got refugee status or some form of leave to remain. Two families returned voluntarily to their own country. 5 individuals were provided with free shelter while they pursued A Levels, Degrees and Diplomas. As a result of being hosted, 4 families were enabled to avoid Social Work removing their children because of their risk of destitution. Five families were reunited, after their dependents were able to leave war zones in Syria and join them in the UK in someone’s home.

Key issues:

  • The Network has achieved excellent outcomes. It provides families and individuals with respite from destitution.
  • In several cases, people have become like members of the family they are staying with.
  • People have achieved help from host families to progress their legal cases.
  • People have achieved leave to remain or secured emergency support.
  • In some cases, individuals are able to pursue exams, go onto university or retrain as doctors.
  • We want to grow the scheme as a force for good, of increased awareness and understanding, a way of paying it forward for both host and guest.

Future developments:

To develop the programme in the US, and other countries.

To develop host support networks across the UK.

To further develop the Room for Refugees online system to provide rooms and crisis grants online.

To develop holiday respite cover in rural areas for long term hosts.