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Edinburgh’s Humanitarian Triumph: Acclaimed Projects for Ukrainian Refugees Win Scottish Public Service Awards 2023


Three projects within the Capital were acclaimed at the Scottish Public Service Awards 2023, held this week on December 6.

Marking their tenth anniversary, these awards are organised by Holyrood Communications in collaboration with the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament, aiming to commend the valuable contributions made by public servants.

Edinburgh’s response to supporting Ukrainian refugees was a standout of the evening winning two awards.

Edinburgh’s Warm Scots Welcome is a community and voluntary sector partnership which has helped welcome more than 11,000 Ukrainian refugees since the Russian invasion early last year. The initiative, which was organised in collaboration between the City of Edinburgh Council, Edinburgh Voluntary Organisations Council (EVOC) and Volunteer Edinburgh (VE), won the Voluntary Sector Partnership Award.

The Edinburgh Ukrainian Welcome Hub also won the Commercial Partnerships Award. This was a partnership between the City of Edinburgh Council and NatWest Group/Royal Bank of Scotland which has supported Ukrainians arriving in Scotland by providing property and facilities management, opening bank accounts, raising aid, distributing donations, volunteering, running events, giving specialist expertise, and offering women and girls tech training and employment.

Approximately 3,000 Ukrainians (representing up to 900 households), currently reside in Edinburgh, with over 350 children and young people in our education system.

There was also a victory for the Integrated Regional Employability and Skills Programme (IRES), as part of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal programme, which took the Project and Programme Management Award. IRES seeks to evolve regional labour market policy and practice to drive inclusive growth, promising to deliver an additional 14,700 skill improvements across the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region and help 5,300 people into employment.

“I’m absolutely delighted to see the fantastic work in our city being recognised.

“Edinburgh’s solidarity and support for Ukraine and the Ukrainians who now call Edinburgh home is unwavering. These awards highlight the extensive partnership work between local government, third sector, private sector and other partners that has taken place across the city since the start of Russia’s illegal war against Ukraine in February 2022. As we shift our focus from welcoming our Ukrainian guests to helping with settling into their new lives here in Edinburgh, this strength of partnership is as important as ever. I’d like to wholeheartedly thank all our partners and the people of Edinburgh for all their efforts.  

“Employment, upskilling, and improving the working lives of our residents are also key priorities, and it’s great to see that these have been recognised in IRES’s award.”

Council Leader Cammy Day

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