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Vol 11 - March 2015

Central and Eastern European Migrants E-Bulletin

Welcome to the Good Community Relations Project (GCRP) E-Bulletin). This E-Bulletin is produced and distributed quarterly. It provides information about GCRP work and shares information about current service needs of Central and Eastern European Migrant Communities. We are hoping that this bulletin can help us to build the platform for joint work where information and ideas can be shared. 

This eBulletin is free and everyone can become a member. If you would like to be added to our mailing list or are interested in joint work, please email:
The Good Community Project (GCRP) is funded by Scottish Government Equality Fund. The project aims to support and empower European migrant communities through advice and information services. In addition the project encourages migrants to take active part in civil life and to represent their communities to the outside world.
Our project advice work is delivered in a form of a weekly drop in and telephone helpline. We can provide advice in Polish, Lithuanian and English. No appointments are necessary for drop in sessions.

The Rota of the Advice Surgeries:
  Telephone Helpline
0141 337 6626
Advice Surgery
(Drop In)
KASIA (Polish)


16.00 -18.00
WSREC Office*
JURATE (Lithuanian)

WSREC Office*

WSREC Office:
Napiershall Street Centre,
39 Napiershall Street,
G20 6EZ
(Office is located on the 1stFloor)
The project monitors client enquiries on a regular basis. We generated enquiries from the last 3 months (51 enquiries in total) to illustrate current trends in advice delivery. So far from April 2014 to March 2015 project Advice Workers responded to over 312 enquiries.
Recently, a GCRP Advice Worker has assisted a Polish male whose life has been turned upside down after he was diagnosed with a congenital heart condition. The male, who is a self-employed plasterer and decorator, had to stop working immediately. He was told he would not be able to work for at least a few months following surgery.
Because he was self-employed, he was not entitled to a Statutory Sick Pay. He lived on his own paying mortgage on his flat and he had no other source of income apart from his job he could no longer do.
The client came to our office to enquire about benefits and other financial help he might be entitled to. The Advice Worker suggested he should apply for the Employment and Support Allowance and she helped him with the application process. A while later, the male was refused the income-related ESA due to the fact that he owned two properties, and contribution-based ESA due to not having paid enough National Insurance contributions. Since the client had been self-employed and paid NI contributions regularly over the past 5 years, it seemed rather strange that he had been refused the contribution-based ESA. The advice worker called the HMRC to investigate and it turned out that the client had been paying his son’s contributions by mistake.
The Advice Worker then helped to write a letter to HMRC asking for the contributions to be transferred from the client's son's account to his own, something the son had agreed to in writing. A few weeks later, the matter had been resolved and the client was awarded the ESA.

On 11th of February 2015 a Hate Crime & Third party Reporting Training was arranged for Lithuanians In Scotland Association (LISA) Board members. Training was delivered by Hate Crime Policy Pauline Kelly from Community Safety Glasgow.
Members of LISA committee had a chance to learn about forms of prejudice, types of hate crime and what the crime motivations are. It was also discussed why people are reluctant to report a crime.
All participants agreed that it is important to provide its community with safe, confident and supportive environment to report such incidents. Group also learned how to make a Third Party Report online using Scotland Police website.
LISA is now in a process of becoming Third Party Reporting Centre and is planning to raise awareness of the Hate Crime reporting among Lithuanian community.
GCRP & Glasgow Home Energy Advice Team (G.HEAT) Partnership Work

We asked our Lithuanian Advice Worker about her involvement in joint work with Glasgow Home Energy Advice Team (G.HEAT).

“Winters in Scotland are not as cold as comparing to those in Lithuania, when sometimes the temperature drops below minus 25 – 30 C. And yet, Lithuanian community members think twice before they turn on their heaters in Scotland!

When in September 2014 G.Heat started partnership work with WSREC it created an opportunity to arrange Free Home Energy Visits for my clients.  This initiative was very welcoming news for them.

During my surgeries customers were able to book free home visits with team member of the the Glasgow Home Energy Advice Team (G.HEAT). Within the winter season of 2014-2015 we assisted 7 Lithuanian families who had an opportunity to evaluate their energy costs.

Some households were recommended to apply for a cheaper electricity tariff when others were presented with options to switch to cheaper energy suppliers. All clients were satisfied with this free face to face advice and were happy to learn how to save money spent on fuel bills and use energy more efficiently. “ 
Community Champion

Ramute has been our community champion for the last 2.5 years. She is heavily involved with the project and her work benefits us greatly. As the project is approaching its end, we asked Ramute to provide us with a short summary of her volunteering for GCRP.

“My name is Ramute Lagunaviciute.  I am a Lithuanian national and I started working as a volunteer for Good Community Relations project in September 2013.

During my two years of volunteering in 2013-2015 I was assisting GCRP advisor Jurate Piepolyte, who consulted Lithuanians coming to WSREC with their problems. I also translated letters from English into Lithuanian, helped to fill in various forms, and got acquainted with the particularities of the volunteer’s job at GCRP.

As a community champion I took active part in engaging with Lithuanian community and creating a group in Glasgow. My work proved to be efficient and with the guidance and help of Joanna Kieran, GCRP Project Coordinator I was able to assist in establishment and development of Lithuanians in Scotland Association (LISA).

I liked volunteering for GCRP, which provided me with support, encouragement and had faith in me.  I also have learnt a lot, experienced a lot and have grown up a lot. I hope GCRP project will continue as I would like to support it for much longer. “
GCRP operates Facebook pages in Lithuanian and Polish languages. We aim to update our websites with useful information and links which can provide assistance to communities we support. In addition we advertise and promote community events and initiatives there.

 Our Facebook pages can be found below:

Lithuanian: GCRP Pagalbos Projektas Vakarų Škotijoje

If you are interested in our project work and would like to receive our bulletin and/or you provide services which might be beneficial for new migrant communities, please contact us on:

GCRP, Joanna Kieran
39 Napiershall Street
Glasgow, G20 6EZ
Phone: 0141 337 6626

Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved. Charity No. SC025038

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