What is Community Sponsorship?
Community Sponsorship is a practical way for communities to help transform the lives of a vulnerable refugee family who is being resettled to the UK. Sponsor groups take on the responsibility of welcoming them into their new environment and supporting them on their journey as they build a new life.
What do sponsors in the UK do?
Sponsor groups are matched with a refugee family from the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Programme and support them from their arrival in UK. This includes: meeting the family at the airport, providing a warm welcome and orientation, arranging housing, supporting access to medical and social services, organising language tuition, and support towards employment and self-sufficiency.
What are the benefits of sponsorship?
Refugee sponsorship has been operating in Canada for close to 40 years, and has resettled almost 300,000 refugees. Sponsors make a huge difference to the lives of resettled refugees. They have friends to practise English with, and may have informal networks to help find employment. It is also mutually rewarding: the local community benefits from the experience as new connections and relationships are forged.
What is the process to become a sponsor?
What are the requirements to submit an application?
To apply, community groups must:
- Be a registered charity or Community Interest Company (CIC)
- Have financial reserves of £9,000
- Secure consent from their Local Authority
- Provide a detailed resettlement plan
- Have experience working with vulnerable people or refugees
- Demonstrate access to housing for 2 years (refugees are eligible for mainstream benefits, including local housing allowance)