Advice for Lead Sponsors

Being a Lead Sponsor for a Community Sponsorship Group is a big undertaking for any charity or CIC and should not be undertaken lightly.  If you have been approached by a Community Sponsorship Group asking you to act as their Lead Sponsor, Reset are here to help you explore what this means, consider the obligations that are placed on you, and help you to feel confident in working with a Community Sponsorship Group.

What is a Lead Sponsor?

  • Takes legal responsibility for delivery of the Sponsor Agreement 
  • Acts as guarantor of the Group for the £9,000 they must raise – you do not need to hold the fundraised amount themselves, but must be comfortable with the measures taken by the Group to ringfence this money
  • Will be confident with the approach and plans of the Group to support refugees including their Safeguarding processes (you may wish to ask them to use your policies)
  • Will be responsible for stepping in to assist should any problems with the Group or family arise
  • Will work with the Group and relevant Local Authorities to approve the refugee family allocated to the Group.  The Lead Sponsor will be given access to MOVEit – the Government’s online data transfer portal – there are stipulation on how and who accesses this information
  • Will sign and submit the application form to the Home Office – you do not have to be the project lead or work directly with the refugee family on a regular basis
  • Will agree to security checks being carried out on the named individual from your organisation
  • Will attend a pre-approval visit between the Group, Local Authority/Authorities and the Home Office
  • Will attend monitoring visits/calls in month 1, 4 and 10 (c. 3 hours each in the location of the resettled family)
  • Will assume responsibility for the completion and submission of monitoring and evaluation as requested by the Home Office

It’s important to keep in mind that there is not a single way in which to ‘do’ Community Sponsorship.  Many Lead Sponsors have an MoU or agreement in place making each other’s obligations clear and setting expectations for how your relationship will work.

There is a difference in being a Lead Sponsor (Charity or CIC that is legally responsible) and the Project Lead – the person or people coordinating the application, Group and the way in which they work to empower and support refugees.  This can mean that the majority of the application is completed via the Project Lead, but approved and sections 1, 2 and 4 completed by the Lead Sponsor.  When submitting, the Lead Sponsor can request all correspondence to be sent to the Project Lead too – this happens regularly.

How can Reset help?

We can help you to explore how to become a Lead Sponsor in a way that works for your organisation, explaining the process and what is required at each stage of the process

We can assist you in drafting an MoU or operating procedures outlining how you will work with a Community Sponsorship Group

We can share best practice, resources and advice from our work with other Lead Sponsors around the UK and connect you with other charities who are acting as Lead Sponsors.

If you are a Lead Sponsor, considering becoming a Lead Sponsor or would like to talk through what we can offer, please contact us.