This report is on the experience of refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo who were settled in Motherwell from 2007 under the Gateway Protection Programme, the UK’s official refugee settlement programme. It follows up Duncan’s earlier research from 2008 which described a generally positive experience over the first year, but also concern over the emergence of potentially problematic issues for the future. This new report, based on work conducted in 2013, is able to provide a picture of how these issues were experienced and engaged with over the following five years. In analysing their findings, the authors make use of Oxfam’s Humankind Index and provide a number of recommendations for organisations and agencies, both locally and also more widely.
Download PDF: The Long Term Integration of Gateway Protection Programme Refugees in Motherwell, North Lanarkshire
This report provides a review of literature on social and employee-owned co-operative business models as a prelude to reporting on a study based on interviews with key figures in a range of such enterprises. The study explored how these businesses interact with and benefit their local communities. The authors provide brief case studies of a housing association, a credit union and a worker co-operative and conclude with a number of recommendations of interest to policy makers, practitioners and academics. In particular it is aimed at those who share, with UWS and Oxfam, an interest in creating ‘a more equitable and sustainable Scotland’.
Download PDF: A Review of Social Employee Owned Co-operative Business Models and their Potential to Reduce Poverty
This report focuses on a women’s organisation in Govan called Tea in the Pot (TITP). The report is written in two parts, which can be read more or less separately. The first part presents research, designed and conducted by Maria Feeney, which examined the role of TITP in serving the needs of its local community. The report considers TITP in light of Ray Oldenburg’s concept of the ‘third place’ as a ‘great good place’. Based on interviews and focus group discussions with the women at TITP, it is suggested that TITP can be thought of as having ‘improvised’ a ‘third place’ in Govan, which has brought significant benefits to its members and to its wider community – on the basis of very limited resources. The second part raises the need for a viable common language which can allow local communities, policy makers, practitioners, NGOs, academics, etc. to speak together and to act together in confronting the problems in local communities. Drawing on the case study of TITP, it challenges the appropriateness of the language of ‘social capital’ which has been so prominent over the past decade and a half, and argues that a viable common language must be connected to the real history and experience of local communities. The report is a timely and challenging contribution to the debate amongst those who share the UWS-Oxfam Partnership’s aspiration for ‘a more equitable and sustainable Scotland’.
Download PDF: Tea in the Pot: Building ‘social capital’ or a ‘great good place’ in Govan?
Spiritual beliefs and mental health: a study of Muslim women in Glasgow (2019). Darryl Gunson, Lawrence Nuttal, Adam Khan, Ghizala Avan, Linda Thomas. Collaborative Research Reports Series, Report No. 4
This report explores the nature of Muslim belief in phenomena such as ‘jinn’ (spiritual beings), spirit possession and black magic, and investigates whether such beliefs can have harmful consequences for the mental health of Muslim women in Glasgow.
The research objectives were to explore what such beliefs consisted of; to document what Muslim women themselves had to say about this; to investigate whether such beliefs might have an adverse impact on Muslim women’s mental health; and to assess the current level of professional understanding of issues surrounding female Muslim mental health and spiritual beliefs.
Findings revolve, inter alia, around the problem of mental illness and stigma; the strong belief amongst research participants that ‘spirit possession’ can cause illness and that appropriate help is not necessarily delivered through medical services; the ‘lack of fit’ between the language of spirit possession and the Western medical approach to mental illness and the adverse consequences of this lack of fit for Muslim women; and the need for a more culturally aware provision of mental health services. Find the report here.
On Target for 2030? An independent snapshot review of Scotland’s progress against the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. (2019). Hartwig Pautz, Oudai Tozan, Paul Bradley (eds). Collaborative Research Reports Series, Report No. 5
In 2015, Scotland’s First Minister committed the country to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Four years on, governments everywhere are submitting reviews of their progress towards the seventeen Goals. The UWS-Oxfam Partnership, together with the SDG Network Scotland, has put together a ‘snapshot review’ of how these Goals are achieved in Scotland itself. Over twenty civil society organisations from across Scotland have contributed their views and assessments on what has been achieved and what needs to be done to be ‘on target for 2030’ and how.
Download pdf: On Target for 2030?
Food insecurity, in-work poverty and gender: a literature review. (2020) Damian Dempsey. Collaborative Research Reports Series, Report No. 6
In recent years, the significant growth in the number of food banks in the United Kingdom (UK) has captured headlines. This rapid literature review focusses on how, in the UK, food insecurity intersects with in-work poverty and gender. The review considers both academic and grey literature and takes into account literature published between 2012 and 2019.
Download pdf: Food insecurity, in-work poverty, and gender
Caring in difficult times – Personal testimonies from those who care in Scotland. (2020) Edited by Hartwig Pautz. Collaborative Research Reports Series, Report No. 7
This report compiles seven testimonies which offer an insight into the lives of those with caring responsibilities in Scotland. They were written in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic which struck the UK in early 2020 and which shows little sign of abating in late 2020. Together the seven testimonies make clear that providing care presents people with many challenges: from their own personal health and wellbeing, to financial pressures and the lack of social recognition. This is true for those providing care whether unpaid for a friend, family member or relative, or paid within one of the many social care or childcare settings across Scotland.
Download pdf: Personal testimonies from those who care in Scotland
Food insecurity in times of Covid-19. (2021) Damian Dempsey and Hartwig Pautz. Collaborative Research Report Series, Report No. 8
This report explores, in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020/21, the escalating scale of food insecurity with a focus on Scotland and on four demographic groups – the homeless, young carers and young adult carers, (destitute) asylum seekers, and people with disabilities. These groups were chosen because they are at comparatively higher risk of food insecurity even in ‘normal times’. Importantly, the report makes a key distinction between ‘income problems’ and ‘access challenges’ when it comes to understanding the reasons for food insecurity and its increase.
The report is based on an overview of the existing literature on Covid-19 and how it has impacted on food insecurity across the United Kingdom (UK) and on insights gained through interviews with representatives of organisations providing support to the four groups in the focus. In doing so, it makes a contribution to a better understanding of food insecurity. Download pdf: Food insecurity in times of Covid-19.
Young, caring, and struggling to make ends meet. The worsening economic circumstances of Scotland’s young carers during Covid-19. (2021) Chloe Maclean and Nicola Hay. Collaborative Research Report Series, Report No. 9
This report explores the financial circumstances of young carers in Scotland during the Covid-19 pandemic. Whilst previous work has identified that adult carers often experience financial difficulties and/or poverty, this project sought to explore young carers specific circumstances, experiences, and engagement with their household finances. The findings suggest that young carers’ financial circumstances worsened during the pandemic, largely in relation to employment insecurities resulting from the pandemic. Young carers engaged in a number of self-identified money management strategies to combat their household’s financial difficulties such as seeking employment, limiting their spending, and in some cases, limiting their food intake. This report provides a set of policy recommendations that would ensure that young carers do not economically suffer for providing a caring role. Download pdf: Young, caring, and struggling to make ends meet.