New Migrants Action Project
The New Migrants Action Project supports its service users to know their housing and employment rights and assists service users to maximise their income. The project also assists Registered Social Landlords and local authorities to know their responsibilities concerning EU migrants.
Our New Migrants Action Project continued its longstanding service providing information, advice and advocacy on welfare rights, housing, homelessness to EU nationals and supporting vulnerable EU nationals and their family members with IT and language support in making applications to the EU Settlement Scheme.
We worked with 343 service users (395 in 2019/20 which represents a decrease of 13%, but still a 13% increase on 2018-19), benefiting 601 adults and 576 children, helping build a strong foundation for their lives in Scotland. The team worked with people of 15 countries of origin, the top 3 being Romania , Latvia and Estonia. The project focused on the Romanian Roma community in Govanhill, which has the highest concentration of Romanian Roma anywhere in the country. This community are amongst Scotland’s most financially and socially excluded people.
£ 696,488 was raised by the New Migrants Action Project from child tax credits, working tax credits, benefit entitlements and savings, and put back into the Scottish economy.
As the pandemic Covid 19 took hold, we focused effort on ensuring all our clients and their families were aware of the risks and the importance of social distancing and self-isolation. Our service rapidly adapted to working online with service users, who are often digitally excluded, and faced disproportionately with redundancy and gig economy conditions. . We very considerably exceeded our funded outcomes for our welfare benefits work for the Scottish Government, and, like all the organisations funded to work with vulnerable groups by the Home Office on the EUSS, we did not meet the projected targets but in the circumstances satisfied the funder with the work we carried out.
Our training service has continued using Zoom to deliver online video training sessions and Eventbrite for bookings. While maintaining numbers of attendees compared to the previous year, we have also been able to reach further, many more participants from England joining. We have had to adapt parts of courses to accommodate the different legal situations in England around housing and homelessness.