Refugee Survival Trust

Refugee Survival Trust

At a glance


  • Black, asian and minority ethnic groups
  • Campaigning
  • Housing and homelessness
  • Human rights
  • Poverty relief
  • Refugees / migrants

Other details

Geographical remit: 
National - Scotland


Our vision is a welcoming, inclusive, safe Scotland for refugees and asylum seekers, where all live free of destitution and have the means and opportunities to realise their full potential. Our mission is to provide refugees and people seeking asylum with practical support when it is most needed, build connections between people and use what we learn to campaign for change. 

We've been working for more than 20 years to assist some of the most vulnerable members of our society, particularly those who are facing destitution.

RST is based in Glasgow, with an income of around £550k pa and fewer than than ten full-time employees, providing grants and integrated support services to asylum seekers and refugees living in Scotland. These alleviate poverty and destitution, aid inclusion and help enable people to be active citizens. 

RST also works to raise public and political awareness of the issues facing asylum seekers and refugees, particularly around destitution, and to contribute to the development of policy and good practice.


RST is the lead partner in the Destitute Asylum Seeker Service, supporting those facing long-term destitution. Through emergency support, casework, advocacy, legal advice and temporary accommodation, the project assists people to improve their living conditions and work towards finding a solution to their situation. Other partners include the Scottish Refugee Council, the British Red Cross, Glasgow Night Shelter and the Strathclyde Law Clinic. 

Our Destitution Grants programme provides small lifeline payments to those who do not receive support from the government or other sources. It can help keep people fed and avoid street homelessness.

Our Access to Education and Employment Grants programme gives small sums to overcome any barriers to starting a course or job.

Our Bus Pass programme allows asylum seekers to have mobility to help their application process, aid their integration and avoid isolation.

The statistics we gather from our programmes and the reports and press coverage we generate help positively influence policy and research.

Our Glasgow Welcome befriending programme helps people integrate into life in the city, while our Wee Welcome parent and toddler group helps young refugee families new to the city build connections with more established families.

Our Office Intern programme allows people to gain some useful work experience in our office.

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