Image for Moments of Freedom
Lead Organisation:
Outside The Box Development Support Limited
Award Amount:

Our project introduced peer support for Syrian woman living in West Dunbartonshire and give them the confidence to develop connections with people in their local areas. This is based on the learning and good practice from the ‘Moments of Freedom’ project developed over the past 4 years in partnership with Syrian women who resettled in Clydebank through the VPRS. The peer support approach also enabled women from West Dunbartonshire to gain more skills and experience.

The project was developed across two concurrent strands. Each strand took an integral element of the successful ‘Moments of Freedom’ approach to extend its influence and reach geographically.

New Scots reached
Key Information

Our overall project objective was to encourage and support the successful and meaningful integration of New Scot women and their families in West and East Dunbartonshire.

Key Information

Geographical reach

Across Scotland


13/08/2021 – 30/11/2022

Project Type

Spreading Good Practice


We have been working for 4 years supporting Syrian New Scot women to scope their community for meaningful integration in Clydebank. This highlighted a need for spaces that provide an opportunity for New Scots, community groups and people working alongside them to come together around integration, learning, and collaboration.

Having built up an evidence and practice base in partnership with the women, we have identified approaches that are led by New Scot communities, that shape and benefit the wider community as a whole. For example, in Clydebank women identified that there were few safe spaces for women to come together, and that this extended past their experience of being new to the community, so set up Community Gatherings for women across the community to support wellbeing and new connections. The project also highlighted gaps in how local learning is shared across wider networks and that ‘how’ we do this is just as important as the learning itself. Our proposed work in supporting spaces for Cultural Awareness Sharing will show how local work can influence and implement National Strategy and policy impacting on the lives of New Scots.

Involvement of New Scots in project

We have created multiple channels for participation including WhatsApp, closed Facebook pages, social media channels, group sessions – zoom/in-person, all with relevant interpretation support, using community-spaces where women feel safe and comfortable.

We ensure all volunteer costs are covered by our budget. Our intersectional approach supports all identities and supports the women to attend by creating a safe space for children to join us. Meaningful participation is foundational to the project and is supported by embedding space for regular reviews- both ad-hoc, ongoing and formal – which ensures that the project adapts to the requirements of participants. Ultimately it is their experiences and skills that lead meaningful integration. We have interpreters that understand the project and the aspirations of the women. We adjust and alter the participation and support from the interpreter to suit the requirements of the group. e.g we use more interpretation when the group want to discuss important information – e.g free bus travel for young people, we ask the interpreter to take a step back when we are having group discussions and the women feel comfortable to support each other.


We engaged with all target groups outlined in our initial application and also increased out targets by reaching Afghan and Ukrainian women via focused group sessions and /or community gatherings.

Challenges encountered

The way funding is managed has a direct impact on integration. The management associated with this fund meant that many grassroots integration activities would not have been sustainable- we know this from working with partners and from our own experience of the fund. Outside the Box were lucky to have reserves, many grassroots integration activities do not have this privilege. In any case, our organisational cashflow was affected on several occasions, due to the lack of communication and inconsistency in leadership of how and who the fund was being managed by.


Going forward, should there be something similar available, an increase in transparency, accountability and communication will be key to fully supporting grassroots integration initiatives.


Having the privilege to work with the New Scot women, their families and wider community has taught us an important message that should be listened to by key decision makers- that integration needs to be led and supported by what this means of New Scots in their communities- the agenda has to be set by them so that opportunities and community can be shaped by their contributions. we need to do more to recognise the gifts New Scots bring.