Refugees and Asylum
St Andrews Friends and students jointly express their support for refugees.jpg
Quakers in various meetings in Scotland are working on issues relating to refugees and asylum. This varies widely, from taking part in collections of aid and materials for stranded refugees, to lobbying our representatives on relevant legislation such as the Nationality and Borders Bill, to community sponsorship offering a new home and all kinds of practical support.
Current projects include the following examples but there is much more happening among Scottish Friends, and we would like to share information and mutual encouragement on this page. Please get in touch with Carolyn Burch ecarolynburch [at] gmail.com to send any information about your meeting’s work in upholding and supporting refugees and asylum seekers.
- Fàilte Edinburgh - a South East Scotland Area Meeting group - is sponsoring a family under the UK Government's Resettlement Programme.
- South Edinburgh Quaker Meeting is a Sanctuary Meeting.
- St Andrews Quaker Meeting has a group, SAQAS (St Andrews Quakers for Sanctuary and Asylum) who take part in advocacy work and are strengthening links with local students to run awareness-raising events (see photo).
- Friends in Inverness are active supporters of Phone Credit for Refugees and part of The Highlands Supports Refugees, primarily with the sorting and packaging of aid to send to refugee camps.
- Dundee Quaker Meeting has used local resouces to help with accommodation and individuals Dundee Friends have also been involved for several years until the Covid19 pandemic) in 'Dundee Refugee Support', (collecting and sorting clothing/ for dispatch to refugee camps and, with household goods, to support local refugees.
- Dunblane Quaker Meeting is a Sanctuary Meeting and since 2016 has been involved with a local charity Forth Valley Welcome initially set up to support Syrian families as part of the Syrian Vulnerable People Resettlement scheme. Some members of the meeting are now welcoming Ukrainian refugees to their homes.
Across the UK as well as within Scotland Friends are supporting the efforts of Quaker bodies whose work relates to refugees and the right to asylum. To find out more about the Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network visit https://qarn.org.uk/. You may also want to learn about the work done by Quaker Concern for the Abolition of Torture: see https://qcat.org.uk/ .