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Asylum Seekers, Refugees, voluntary and community groups in Covid-19

Asylum Seekers, Refugees, voluntary and community groups in Covid-19

Peter Hopkins and Matt Benwell, GPS

How asylum seekers and refugees, and voluntary and community groups, are managing in the context of COVID 19

This project explores the needs of refugees and asylum-seekers in Glasgow, Scotland and in Newcastle-Gateshead, in the North-East of England, in the context of COVID-19. We focus on these cities that span distinctive national contexts because they are key points of dispersal for refugees and asylum-seekers and have well-established asylum service infrastructures. We will investigate and compare both the response of organisations who provide services for refugees and asylum-seekers, and the lived experiences of refugees and asylum-seekers in the context of a global pandemic in Scotland and England. This will build upon five pilot interviews undertaken with refugees in Newcastle-Gateshead during the COVID-19 pandemic. The project will provide a cross-national, cross-city account of the lived resilience, adaptation strategies and new forms of care that have emerged in the two cities, that can inform local and national government policy.

A UK-wide survey will take place at the start of the project and again after 6 months in order to provide an overview of the impact of COVID-19 and to assess how the sector is responding to the unfolding situation. A short netnography of 40 organisations will enable us to assess the diverse responses of asylum organisations. Twenty interviews with organisations who provide asylum services (10 in each city) will supplement forty interviews with refugees and asylum-seekers (20 in each city). Outputs will include three academic journal articles; two research reports and two linked policy workshops/webinars at Westminster and Holyrood; two plain language articles about the research findings; and an animated video.

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences