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Door Step March 26, 2008

Posted by Community InfoSource in about.


Door Step Equal Access is a new project, currently in development, to empower Scotland’s refugees and migrant workers to access their rights. Through an innovative mix of research, training, and the production of participatory multi-media resources, Door Step will create a network of specialist advisors who are themselves from refugee and migrant communities.

On 23 March 2007 the project was launched, along with the report The Housing, Work and Welfare Experiences of New Migrants in Scotland. To download a pdf copy of the report, click here. (2mb). By the end of 2007, funding from the Scottish Government’s Scottish Refugee Integration Fund and Glasgow Anti-Racist Alliance (GARA) allowed the Door Step team to run a pilot project – First Step – in Glasgow, working with a team of refugees to produce a DVD, Paula’s Story. You can view a clip of Paula’s Story on the media co-op website.


Door Step is a Glasgow-based initiative of two not-for-profit organisations, Community InfoSource and mediaco-op. Door Step’s Equal Access training programme for specialist rights advisors will be mainly for refugees and new migrants.

Backing the Door Step project is an active Advisory Group including Shelter, Scottish Refugee Council, Citizen’s Advice Bureau, Oxfam Scotland, Positive Action in Housing, PATH Scotland, Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, a number of local housing associations and refugee community organisations, LintelTrust and the Barka Foundation (Poland).

Development funding for the project has come from Oxfam Scotland UK Poverty Programme, Big Lottery Fund and LintelTrust. Funding for the Pilot – Paula’s Story – came from the Scottish Government and Glasgow Anti-Racist Alliance


Refugees and migrants contribute hugely to Scotland but too many are falling through the net of existing advice provision, ending up in overcrowded sub-standard housing, exploited in their jobs, or even becoming destitute and sleeping rough.

Fast-changing government policies on migration and asylum lead to widespread confusion about exactly what refugees and migrants are entitled to. They are often unaware of their rights here, and have nowhere to turn to for specialist information, in appropriate languages, from advisors who understand their situation.


Door Step is developing Equal Access: an imaginative training and research programme. Migrants and refugees will carry out Action Research in their communities and take an active part in producing accessible updateable information, including a multi-language DVD and a website. The newly-created resources will be available to mainstream providers of information and advice. The newly-trained specialist advisors will work with mainstream providers on placements and eventually as employees and sessional workers. They will also help train the next group of advisors. Door Step Equal Access will be a practical contribution to overcoming inequality and exploitation.


The project will unfold in stages:

  • Initial research, development and consultation.
  • Action Research by a group of refugee and migrant trainees.
  • Training participants to Communities Scotland HomePoint National Standards for Type 1 advice and information.
  • Participatory production and piloting of an interactive multi-language DVD, with realistic case-studies.
  • Supported placements for Door Step trainees with advice services and housing providers.
  • Development of Door Step website, providing up-to-date information on migrants and refugees rights.
  • Distribution of the DVD and web resources to mainstream advice providers – as a training and information tool, equally accessible to advisors and their clients.
  • Training a new group of refugee and migrant advisors.
  • Setting up a new network of advisors to share information, promote the use of Door Step resources, organise community-based advice sessions and collectively improve the quality of advice and information available to Scotland’s newcomers.
  • Evaluation, monitoring and documenting throughout the process.
  • Production of a ‘how-to’ guide for reproducing the Door Step method elsewhere.


Michael Collins or Sheila Arthur
e-mail: info [at] door-step.net
tel: 0141 946 6193
Door Step: Suite 432, 355 Byres Road Glasgow G12 8QZ

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