Central & Eastern European 
Migrants E-Bulletin

December 2015 - Volume 14
Welcome to the E-Bulletin of the
Good Community Relations Project (GCRP)

This is a quarterly E-Bulletin which provides information about upcoming training,
capacity building and community development opportunities for Central and Eastern European migrant communities in Glasgow and the West of Scotland.

This E-Bulletin is FREE and everyone can become a member!

If you are interested in learning about development and training opportunities for yourself and your community and would like to find out more, please email Joanna Kieran at

The Good Community Relations Project (GCRP) is funded by the Scottish Government Equality Fund. The project aims to support and empower European migrant communities through advice and information services.

This project encourages migrants to take an active role in civil life and to represent their communities in mainstream society.

GCRP Advice and Information Services

Telephone Helpline and Weekly Drop-In
The GCRP Advice Service is delivered through a weekly drop-in surgery and telephone helpline. We can provide information and advice in Polish, Lithuanian and English.

There are no appointments necessary for drop-in sessions.

Please call our Telephone Helpline at: 0141 337 6626

Our Telephone Helpline and Drop-In services are available at the following times:
Polish/Polski (with Kasia)

Lithuanian/Lietuvos (with Jurate)
Telephone: Tuesday, 12:00-14:00
Drop-In: Tuesday, 16:00-18:00

Telephone: Wednesday, 12:00-14:00
Drop-In: Wednesday, 15:00-17:00
Where To Find Us

All of our regular drop-in, information and advice sessions take place at WSREC offices. You can find WSREC offices at:
First Floor
Napiershall Street Centre
39 Napiershall Street
G20 6EZ
"We see an inclusive society free from discrimination"
Monthly Immigration Surgery

WSREC offers a FREE monthly immigration surgery that runs on the second Thursday of EVERY month. 

The next surgery is on Thursday 14 January 2016.

This free immigration surgery, sponsored by Five Star (International) Ltd, gives you the chance to talk one-to-one with a specialist immigration solicitor about your immigration issues.

Five Star (International) is a firm of specialist immigration solicitors based in Glasgow, with experienced Caseworkers who specialise in immigration applications and related issues.

Monthly immigration surgeries take place at WSREC offices.

Please remember that consultations are available by APPOINTMENT ONLY.

Please call 0141 337 6626 to book your free appointment or find out more information.

WSREC offices can be located at:

Napiershall Street Centre
39 Napiershall Street
G20 6EZ
Money Advice Surgery
A free money advice surgery is now being held at
WSREC offices every Friday from
10am to 12:30pm.

Feel free to drop in and chat for us for free and confidential advice on the following areas:

  • Housing
  • Council Tax
  • Jobseekers
  • Disability
  • And any other area that is causing you concern.
For more information, call us
at 0141 337 6626 or email

Free Home Energy Advice

Every Friday 2pm - 4pm at Napiershall Street Centre

Our free impartial service will save you money and energy by:

You may qualify for £140 towards your winter fuel bills as a part of Warm Home Discount.
  • Giving advice on using energy more efficiently.
  • Helping you understand bills, different tariffs and dealing with your energy supplier.
  • Help with applying for grants and discounts.
  • Free Home Energy visits.
For more information, please contact Ola Pawluk at
0141 337 6626 or email
Develop skills and work opportunities with MEETS

On 29 May 2015, WSREC launched a new three-year employment and training project supporting people from minority ethnic communities to enhance their prospects within the world of work.

If you are looking for work or thinking about training to develop your skills, MEETS (Minority Ethnic Employment & Training Support) provides service users with FREE support tailored to your needs, including:
  • Advice on creating a CV
  • Support in applying for jobs
  • Access to vacancies and training courses
  • Access to work experience and Modern Apprenticeships
  • Helping develop your confidence and improving your self-esteem.
WSREC is working with a wide-range of partners to support unemployed individuals from a minority ethnic background through free in-house training, work placements at partner organizations and advisory services.
To contact the MEETS team and book an appointment with an
Employment Advisor, call 0141 337 6626 or email
"Let's Cook, Grow and Sew Together" project staff speak English, Polish and Russian, but we can offer gardening advice in Urdu,
Hindi, Punjabi, Romanian, French, Catonese and Mandarin.
Free hands on Eco Driving Training with one of our instructers can help you save 10-15% of your fuel. This is the equivalent of driving for free for two months of the year, improves our air quality and reduces greenhouse gas emissions!

The next date available is on Thursday 21 January 2016, lasting 50 minutes. There are more dates coming in February, too!
Learn how to weave baskets out of newspapers! During workshops we will discuss what waste really is, what items can be reused or recycled in Glasgow and how to access these services.

Upcoming workshops are:
  • 25 January 2016, 10am-12pm - workshop delivered in Cantonese
  • 1 February 2016, 10am-12pm - workshop delivered in Polish and English
Please book early as places are limited!
Feeling cold this winter? We are offering free home energy visits until mid February. We offer energy advice in all areas from debt to renewable energy. Each person we visit receives advice on energy efficiency as well as a Warm Home gift bag with items that can help you make your home warmer and cosier this winter. Contact us to book a home visit.
Have you always wanted to learn how to lend a new life to an old table or refresh an old looking chair? We are offering free 7 week long course for people passionate about furniture and environment. Start in late January, dates and times to be confirmed.
Wild Food Workshops

Saturday 6, 13 and 20 February 2016

Learn about food that you can find growing wild in Glasgow’s parks and nearby woodlands and make a wild soup! Foraging is a great way of reconnecting with nature and reducing your carbon footprint. These workshops are free and family friendly but booking is required for each session as spaces are limited.

For more information about any of above activities please contact Ola Pawluk at 0141 337 66 26 or

On the 9 October 2015 Lithuanians in Scotland Association (LISA) held its Annual General Meeting at Napiershall Street Centre, presented by West of Scotland Regional Equality Council.
The LISA Committee, together with the guest of honour Joanna Kieran (of WSREC’s Good Community Relationship Project), proposed potential members for election to the 2016 Committee and Board. The voting was unilateral and results are as follows:
Chair of the Board – Viktorija MacDonald
Vice Chair – Ramute Lagunaviciute
Secretary – Loreta Puisiene
Vice-Secretary – Juate Piepolyte
Treasurer – Daina Bytautiene
Vice-Treasurer – Zivile Venskuviene

Fundraising Training
After LISA's AGM, all Board and Committee members had the opportunity to participate in Fundraising Training with Fundraiser/Development Officer Julie Christie of Parkhead Citizens Advice Bureau on 20 October 2015. This seminar for the Lithuanian community was organised by Good Community Relationship Project (GCRP) Project Coordinator Joanna Kieran.
The content of this training was designed to reflect the development needs of a small, close-knit community. All participants were welcomed to share their ideas about LISA’s future needs and plans, and everyone involved has found this session to be very helpful. Various tools, information sheets and useful links were provided during and after the training.
Immediately after this training, LISA members have taken the initiative and prepared their first small project, which was approved by Voluntary Action Fund (Fairer Scotland Engagement Fund). This event took place in the Scottish Lithuanian Culture and Recreation Club in Bellshill on the 22 November 2015. 

Do you know of any events, activities, information or community groups that would be of interest to Central and Eastern European migrants?

Are you or your organization involved in any activities or events that you would like promoted through our E-Bulletin?

Let us know!

Please get in touch with Joanna Kieran at
or by calling 0141 337 6626
GCRP Enquiries Report:

October-December 2015

We collect data from weekly GCRP Advice Surgeries on enquiries from
Central and Eastern European migrant communities
The project monitors client enquiries on a regular basis. We generated 53 enquires from the last 3 months to illustrate current trends in advice delivery. In addition we would like to use this bulletin to present chosen case studies.
Case Study
Recently, a GCRP Advice Worker has assisted a Polish female who had been on Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) due to ongoing health problems and awaiting surgery. Her SSP has recently been stopped as it is paid only for 28 weeks.

The client’s health problems did not allow her to go back to work, however, and she was left with no source of income. The Advice Worker suggested making a claim for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and helped with the application process.

The client was awarded the ESA some time later which helped her financial situation considerably. Nevertheless, soon afterwards, her ESA payments stopped and the client did not understand why; no correspondence with explanation has been sent to her, either.

The Advice Worker contacted the ESA line to enquire and was told that the payments had been stopped due to problems with the change of client’s address. Upon advising them that the client had been at the same address for years and there has been no recent change of address, the ESA was reinstated and backdated payment issued.
Fundraising and Community Development
Start Your Own Community Group: Part 3

Are you interested in setting up and running your own community organization? GCRP's four-step guide is here to help you through every stage of the process!

Part 3: Opening a Bank Account and the AGM
Opening a Bank Account

To run a community group it is helpful to possess some funds.

It is a wise idea to open a bank account where you can deposit your money safely. Most banks offer special accounts for community groups.  If you are planning to apply for some grants, your funders will always ask if the group has bank account so the grant can be transferred and kept secure.

In addition when opening a bank account ensure that your account requires two unrelated signatures to authorise payments as funders will require this.  It is useful to check with the bank if it to possible to change signatories when necessary as people come and go from committees thus it is important to be able to make necessary changes.
The person who will be monitoring the group bank account will be a Treasurer. 

It is important to understand the signatories’ role. These are the people selected by management committee who have a power to sign cheques on behalf of the organisation. Normally it is two or three committee members who are authorised to do this.  Banks require for each cheque to be signed by two signatories, one of whom will being the Treasurer.

The Annual General Meeting

Every organisation needs to hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM) every year.

If your group is new you will hold Inaugural General Meeting (IGM). IGM is the group’s first official meeting, and at this meeting the constitution is accepted, office bearers are elected and objectives of the group are presented to general public.

After IGM your group should hold AGM once a year (the maximum time between AGM’s cannot be longer than 15 months). Your constitution should state clearly how the AGM will be held and what your quorum will be.
Business which are usually covered at AGM:
  • Organisation financial report and accounts
  • Report of  work carried out last year (organisation’s annual report is often printed and given to  group members and guests)
  • Election of The Office Bearers for the next year
  • Many groups use AGM to celebrate its successes and achievements, if possible refreshments are provided.
After your IGM your group is formally established and ready to take action in order to reach aims presented in constitution.

In most situations new groups need to seek external funding to pursue their ideas. In the next section you will find some useful information on that subject. 
Make sure to read the next issue of the CEE Migrants E-Bulletin for “Part 4: Fundraising”!

To find out more information on creating your own community organization, contact Joanna Kieran at to receive your free Start Your Own Community Group toolkit,
or visit 
Funding Opportunities for Community Groups
ScotRail Cultural
and Arts Fund

As part of the new ‘ScotRail in the Community’ scheme, the £40,000 annual Cultural and Arts Fund will enable communities to flourish.

Applications are invited from groups across Scotland looking to fund arts, community recreation, and sports activities and projects in the vicinity of a train station or with a travel or safety theme.

See more at:
Big Lottery Fund Scotland Launches New Five Year Funding Programme

BIG Scotland opens a new five-year £250 million funding scheme. With a focus on helping people and communities most in need, groups across the country can share these life changing funds.

Between now and 2020 groups across Scotland can apply for grants from £10,000 to £1 million to help finance projects which are community led or will improve lives.
Baring Foundation: Funding for Training, Education and Capacity Building

Supporting effective use of the law and human rights based approaches by the voluntary sector in the United Kingdom.

Registered charities in the UK have until 18 December 2015 to submit an application to the Baring Foundation’s pilot fund for training, education and capacity building under its Strengthening the Voluntary Sector Programme
Think Big with O2: Funding for Community Youth Projects

Telecoms provider O2 has announced that its “Think Big with O2″ youth programme will re-open for applications on the 30th November 2015. The programme supports young people in the UK (aged between 13 and 25) who want to make positive changes to their communities. Initially funding of £300 is available to get projects off the ground. If the project is completed successfully young people may be invited to apply for the second level of the programme –Think Bigger where O2 provides funding of up to £2500.

The programme is open to individuals and groups of young people and the money can be used to cover project related costs such as materials & equipment; cost of renting space; transportation; and advertising, etc. The closing date for applications is the 24th December 2015.
For more information about fundraising opportunities,

remember to regularly visit
Personal Development
ESOL and English Language Development Opportunities
Literacy and Numeracy learning with Glasgow Life

There are literacy and numeracy classes available for communities at a range of locations around Glasgow, provided by Glasgow Life.

These free classes offer you the chance to develop your skills, abilities and confidence in small, friendly and informal groups at your local library or community centre. Learning is based around what service users want to learn, using everyday materials and resources.

Glasgow Life's Literacy and Numeracy learning opportunities are divided between it's three city branches. To find out where the nearest available Literacy and Numeracy lessons are in your area, please contact your regional office at:

North East Communities: 0141 276 1785
North West Communities: 0141 276 1525
South Communities: 0141 276 1330
English Language Classes at Glasgow Women’s Library

Glasgow Women’s Library offers a great opportunity for individuals to develop their English language skills through English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes.

There are two classes available; a Beginners’ class takes place on a Wednesday from 10am – 12pm, and a Pre-Intermediate class on a Tuesday and Thursday at the same time.

These classes give learners the chance to improve their general English abilities, including speaking, listening, reading and writing in a friendly, informal and lively group.

Both classes run during college term time (August – June). If you wish to join ESOL classes, please head along to Glasgow Women’s Library at 9:45am on a Tuesday or Thursday morning, when a tutor can assess the most suitable learning level for your needs.
You can find out more information on literacy and numeracy learning, or other learning opportunities provided by Glasgow Life, at

Glasgow Women's Library is located at:

23 Landressy Street
G40 1BP

For more information on projects offered by Glasgow Women's Library, contact GWL by phone at 0141 550 2267 or by email at
PATH Housing Employability Training Opportunities
Black and minority ethnic individuals can take advantage of PATH (Scotland)’s FREE Employability Training scheme for those interested in employment housing and related sectors.

These are Positive Action Training sessions designed to redress the under-representation of black and minority ethnic communities in the housing sector.

They will provide you with an opportunity for individuals to develop their knowledge and skills in searching for vacancies, creating strong applications for vacancies and succeeding at interviews.

You will learn how to demonstrate your skills, knowledge and competence to employers.

All sessions will be held at PATH (Scotland)’s offices at 29 Park Circus, Glasgow.

Download an application form here

If you wish to be kept up-to-date with other traineeship opportunities in the future, find out how to register for future opportunities by emailing
Stay In Touch and Stay Informed

GCRP CEE Migrants operates Facebook pages in Polish and Lithuanian languages.

We aim to use our social media presence to provide the Central and Eastern European communities with useful links, information, advice and information on upcoming events, activities and opportunities, including community-organized events and initiatives.
If you want to stay informed about the work carried out by GCRP and useful events, activities and opportunities in your community, why not join our mailing list?

Please contact Joanna Kieran at:
Copyright © 2015 West of Scotland Regional Equality Council, All rights reserved.

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