Community support

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000

Description

Re-Act, Refugee Action Scotland is a volunteer-run, not-for-profit cooperative that was set-up in the autumn of 2015 in response to the international refugee crisis.

In its early days, the group consisted of a small amount of volunteers who gathered carloads or vanloads of material aid donations and delivered them to the camps in Calais and Dunkirk. However, as interest from the Scottish community increased and the magnitude of the crisis became more apparent, Re-Act grew into a much larger project. By the end of its first year, it had coordinated the delivery of over 500 tonnes of emergency aid to camps in France, Greece, the Balkans, Turkey, Lebanon and Syria.

Re-Act has also become important in the integration of refugees arriving to Scotland. It regularly provides furniture, food, clothing and baby equipment to families arriving to the country. It also provides regular workshops, conversation classes and playgroups for arrived refugees, all taught and coordinated by volunteers.

As well as assisting refugees at home and abroad, the group uses its resources to assist with local homeless groups and women's shelters.

All of this has been carried out by volunteers from local Scottish communities, coordinated by a dedicated committee of core volunteers. All material donations and funds raised have come from the initiative and generosity of the community. No one has received a single penny in wages. It is driven by the sheer force of goodwill and awareness that action needs to be taken to help vulnerable people in a desperate situation.

For the future, Re-Act hopes to step-up its efficiency in delivering aid to people in need at home and abroad. With this in mind, the group recently acquired a truck of its own so that emergency aid can be transported with greater frequency and in greater quantities, without the fees and time-delays of haulage companies or vehicle rental. This will help with aid not only in Europe's camps, but also with assisting arrived families furnish their homes. We are actively raising funds to cover the costs of this investment. It has the potential to be an extremely important resource for the community.

Also, the group is actively seeking a building in Edinburgh city centre which could become a community cultural hub to facilitate the integration of arrived refugees into Scottish society, and to allow for people already in Scotland to experience the cultural diversity of the new arrivals in the country. It would provide a long-term/permanent space in which a variety of workshops, cultural events, advice sessions, language classes, etc could take place.

The Scottish community have made Re-Act what it is. It consists of a large, motivated group of volunteers who intend to continue and develop the project for the foreseeable future.

Re-Act, Refugee Action Scotland

Moment of Pride

The sincere altruistic nature of the volunteers involved in this project. Everyone involved works extremely diligently to achieve what we achieve, without much fanfare, without payment, but rather with sheer force of goodwill & an awareness that these vulnerable people simply need help.

Location: Edinburgh