Supporting refugees & asylum seekers, through a family-focused Weekend Club, crafts course Peaced Together, English Conversation Cafés, New Scots Christmas Appeal and more.

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At the beginning of 2020, Edinburgh City Mission expanded its work among the most vulnerable in our city to encompass refugees and asylum seekers through our Salaam Ministry.

Salaam is Arabic for ‘peace,’ ‘welcome’ and ‘hello’. In the Bible the equivalent Hebrew word, Shalom, paints a picture of harmony, completion and wholeness; the state of the world as the loving Creator intended it.

Our prayer for our refugee friends and neighbours is that they find safety, peace, and the wholeness that comes from knowing that we are loved by our Heavenly Father.

Below are some key ministries and courses within the Salaam network. Get in touch to find out more!

English Conversation Café

Our English Conversation Cafés are run in partnership with churches in different parts of the city to create fun and welcoming spaces for New Scots to practice English. Our hope is that everyone will grow in confidence, feel more connected, and learn from each other. Everyone is welcome, no matter what level of English you have!

On Mondays, join us at Mustard Seed Church (170 Easter Road, EH7 5QE) from 10:30am-12:00pm. On Tuesdays, we have a Conversation Café at Central Church (2 West Tollcross, EH3 9BP) from 11:00am-12:30pm.

Email Lydia to find out more or to sign up to receive emails about the Cafés –



Befriending Programme

Our Salaam Befriending Scheme welcomes New Scots by providing 1-to-1 connections with local volunteer befrienders. Each friendship looks different depending on the needs of the befriendee, but all are centred on offering friendship, practical help and support to the New Scots in our city. These relationships become key to building strong connections in the wider community and to realising their full potential.

A befriender takes time to listen to their New Scot friend and spends time with them in their home or over coffee. All of which leads to what New Scots have said they need: a chance to practice English, to understand their new community, and to feel like they belong.

If you’d like to be befriended, or volunteer as a befriender, please contact Fiona –

Peaced Together

Peaced Together is a creative arts course for New Scot women that encourages participants to reflect on their lives and set out on a personal journey to hope. Each craft encourages a discussion of topics such as beauty, thankfulness, peace with the past and positive choices.

The Creative English version is for women who don’t have English as a first language, incorporating English practice in a creative and fun way.

For more information about when and where the course is running, please email Lydia –

Salaam Prayer Meetings

Salaam Prayer Meetings are prayer gatherings in which we ask God for peace and protection for people who live in the midst of war, violence, poverty, climate change, etc. and for the situation of asylum seekers and refugees in Edinburgh, in the UK, and in the world. We meet five times a year and would be delighted for you to join us.

To be included in our mailing list, please email Natalia –

Summer Women’s Group

During the summer, we offer a fun and friendly online English conversation group for New Scot women. The sessions use an embodied approach to language practice, incorporating games, drama, videos, and real-life scenarios to learn vocabulary in a fun and practical way.

Email Lydia to find out more –

New Scots Christmas Appeal

This year, 260 Christmas hampers were distributed to New Scots across Edinburgh. They were given to refugees, asylum seekers, migrants, and people with insecure immigration status, from at least 29 different countries. Each hamper was delivered by church volunteers as a symbol of welcome, love and solidarity.

Our prayer is that in the face of difficult circumstances, global conflict, and hostile immigration laws, these hampers will bring something of God’s light and love into the lives of the individuals who receive them.

If you would like to contribute to this initiative or get involved, please email Lydia –

The Weekend Club

The Weekend Club is a fun monthly activity hosted by churches throughout Edinburgh for New Scots. Our aim is to create a safe and relaxed atmosphere where friendships can begin and grow, and where New Scots and their host communities can learn from each other’s cultures. It is a fantastic way for churches to get a taste of what is like to share God’s love and welcome with their New Scots neighbours.

To find out more, please email our office –

Over and over again, the Bible commands us to love and care for all, in particular the widow, the orphan, and the immigrant. Salaam’s goal is to help Churches fulfill their calling of holy hospitality towards our refugee and asylum-seeking friends, and to share God’s love through all our words and deeds.

We continue to support some of our new neighbours through our Foodbanks+, Clothesbank+, and other Edinburgh City Mission ministries.

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An Open Hand Referral Application
This form may be used by support workers and other professionals to apply for gifts for families in Edinburgh from An Open Hand (we cannot accept self-referrals).

Our aim is to help the families that need it most. We would be grateful if you could ensure that families fall into an area of need listed below before applying. We won’t be able to accept applications out with the below criteria.

Criteria for application:

  • Families (both parents/carers) who are facing severe hardship because of job loss or benefit delays/interruptions and have no other means (e.g. savings) of helping their child celebrate their birthday
  • Families who have no recourse to public funds
  • Families facing unexpected bills/costs/debt repayments around the time of their child’s birthday which prevent them from buying their child a present.

We are keen to help as many families as we can through this project, whilst still ensuring that each individual child feels treasured and receives a gift they will delight in. We will evaluate the funding for each gift on a case by case basis according to the financial needs of the family, the age of the child and the funding available. A general rule of thumb is that we anticipate most gifts along with the family bag to be in the region of up to £45.

Please ensure this application is submitted at least two weeks before the first child’s birthday to ensure there is sufficient time to deliver to the family.

Applicant's Details

Parent/Carer's Details


Children's Details

To add more children's details, please click the Add button. To remove details, please click the Remove button.

Details of Application

Please give details of why you are applying for this family and what impact a present from An Open Hand may make.

N.B. - The more information you can give, the greater the chance your application will be accepted

An Open Hand Disclaimer

All the gifts given to parents/carers from An Open Hand are new, and in new working order.

Once the gifts are given to the parent/carer, it is their responsibility to check the item is suitable and safe for their child, in good condition and used according to the manufacturer’s advice.

An Open Hand will keep all details of this application protected in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

An Open Hand is not a business or trader and has no ongoing responsibility for the gifts, once given, and takes no responsibility for loss, damage or injury sustained from the gifts or their use.

  • I confirm I have read the above disclaimer to this child’s parent/carer and they understand and agree to it.
  • I also confirm the parent/carer knows An Open Hand will be in contact directly with them, prior to the birthday, to discuss the gift and arrange a suitable time for delivery or collection.
  • I confirm that the parent/carer knows An Open Hand will be in contact directly with them, after the birthday, to receive feedback about the gift delivery, as well as our wider service.

Disclaimer and GDPR

GDPR Compliance
Once we receive your application, we aim to be in touch with you within 5 working days to let you know if your application is successful.

Many thanks for your application!

Edinburgh City Mission Gap Year

Gap Year

Section 1 - Personal Details

Are you involved in any activity that might limit your availability to work or your working hours?
Have you any convictions (other than spent convictions under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974?)
Do you need a work permit to take up employment in the U.K.?

Section 2 - Education

Starting with the most recent, please list any education, qualifications and / or training.
In the format MM/YYYY.

Section 3 - Work History

Please list your recent work history. We want to know about your work experience, paid and unpaid. Please include your current/previous employment, voluntary work, community activities and time spent caring for dependents. Starting with your current employment, please state name and address of employer(s) and/or voluntary agencies and describe main tasks, responsibilities and achievements.
In the format MM/YYYY.

Section 4 - The Gap Year Role

Please answer the following questions.

Section 5 - References

Referee 1 (Professional e.g. teacher / tutor / pastor)
Referee 2 (Other leader e.g. Church group leader)
Additional Information
Can we approach your referees before an offer is made?
Is your church supportive of your application to Edinburgh City Mission (ie would they be willing to take an active interest in our work and pray for you in your role?)

Section 6 - Declaration

I declare that the information given in this form is complete and accurate. I understand these details will be held in compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998. I undertake to notify the company immediately of any changes to the above details. You agree that Edinburgh City Mission may use the details provided to contact you for purposes of the job application and nothing more.
Do you agree to the above Terms?

Monthly Prayer Newsletter (click to expand)

Volunteer Now

Volunteer Application

Section 1 - Personal Details

Please note: you must currently live in or near to Edinburgh if you wish to volunteer with Edinburgh City Mission.
Do you speak any languages other than English?

Section 2 - Role

In what part of the work of Edinburgh City Mission would you be interested in volunteering? (Pick up to 3)
Do you have a Full UK Driving Licence?
Have you had any accidents, regardless of fault in the last 5 years?
NB - This will help us check your details with the DVLA and reduce the number of questions we need to ask you later.
Please tick your available days.

Section 3 - Belief

For some of our volunteer roles we require the volunteer to have an active Christian faith. Please tick which of the following applies to you.
Do you currently attend a church?

Section 4 - References

We will take up references once we’ve agreed a suitable volunteering role. Please provide us with the details of someone who has known you in a professional capacity for more than a year. For example, someone you have volunteered for, an employer or a teacher.
Additional Information

Section 6 - Declaration

I declare that the information given in this form is complete and accurate. I understand that any false information or deliberate omissions will disqualify me from employment or may render me liable to summary dismissal. I understand these details will be held in compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998. I undertake to notify the company immediately of any changes to the above details. You agree that Edinburgh City Mission may use the details provided to contact you for purposes of the job application and nothing more.
Do you agree to the above Terms?

Monthly Prayer Newsletter (Optional - click here)