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Govan Community Project

Shahad came to Glasgow with her husband and three young children. Shahad and her family had fled war-torn Syria and initially went to Greece. It was important for Shahad and her husband to ensure that her children will have a better future. For this reason, they wanted to come to Britain. Shahad and her family were initially housed in Govan were Shahad felt very isolated, knowing little of the language and the city as a whole, with no friends or family close by. Shahad says at the beginning living in Glasgow felt like being in jail. Although she had her husband and children here, she experienced loneliness and isolation. She was glad to be safe but felt she needed people she could talk to. The family were re-housed in Cardonald and when Shahad registered with the health visitor at the local GP, she was sign-posted to the GCP community flat, ESOL classes and women’s group.

Attending the group Shahad was happy and surprised to meet other women from Syria and many other countries. She was able to connect with women and leave some of her other worries behind. Shahad said that a Kurdish saying talks about that talking to someone close helps you to be cleaned from the inside. Talking helps to take all the sorrow and the bad things inside and gets them into the open. Shahad felt, that through coming to the women’s group, she made friends and that staff at GCP were able to listen and help her “being cleaned from the inside”. Shahad also likes the activities in the group, it’s wonderful what GCP do for the women, providing them with a cooked meal, helping with childcare, giving out travel money and providing information about legal situations etc. In the future Shahad would like to volunteer for GCP and be able to work in an organisation that helps people to start a new life.

Govan Community Project aims to reduce life stress of asylum seeker and refugee communities, promoting their settlement and integration into the wider Govan community.

GCP provides advice and advocacy, information and cultural events. We run a food project for destitute individuals, a hate-crime reporting centre, and a social enterprise interpreting and translation service. From our community flat we run weekly women's & men’s group and a homework club and free English classes.

In addition, GCP facilitates forums which bring together public, voluntary and community organisations influencing public services, promoting equal rights, participation and community cohesion.