Moving to a new environment can be an unsettling experience, especially for those who have been forced to flee their homes. Community Sponsorship is a way for the whole of civil society to be directly involved in helping refugees settle in the UK, providing emotional and practical support. Being a sponsor can also bring enormous benefit to the local community, through harnessing the
generosity of local people, and creating new bonds between different local groups to bring positive changes to people’s lives.
The Community Sponsor group supports the empowerment of refugee families to become self-sufficient members of their new community by:
• meeting the family at the airport
• befriending the family and helping them to settle in the UK
• supporting the family to learn English
• helping them to find work
• making sure the family can access medical and social services.
Through the sponsorship scheme communities across the UK are already seeing how welcoming a refugee family into their local area can transform lives.
Can you be a Community Sponsor?
Acting as a community sponsor to a resettled family is hugely rewarding, but it is also a large responsibility. To make sure that you are prepared to resettle a family, your group will
need to create a clear plan for how you will resettle and integrate the family into a safe and supportive environment. This will involve:
• showing that your group has experience working with vulnerable people
• showing you can safeguard the family
• finding suitable housing
• getting the permission of your Local Authority
• demonstrating that your group has funds available to respond to any needs not covered by the benefits your family will receive.
In addition, your group will either need to be, or be partnered with, a registered charity or community interest company (you can even set up a new charity for your group).
Working towards meeting these requirements is absolutely achievable with effort, motivation and goodwill.
If you are interested in finding out more information about becoming a Community Sponsor you can can visit RESET Community and Refugee website.
By welcoming a refugee family into your community, you can make a real difference.