Based on our learning across different forms of community-led welcome, Reset is advocating for a single future sponsorship scheme set out in our discussion paper. To develop our thinking and learn from the experience of key stakeholders, in December we brought together the Lead Sponsor Network to start to discuss some of the challenging questions in the design of a future scheme.
In December 2022, Reset held a roundtable with experts from the sector to discuss in-house hosting and alternative housing options in the future of sponsorship. This along with further discussions and research will shape Reset’s more detailed policy proposals for a single sponsorship scheme.
Over the coming days our CEO, Kate, will be sharing our learning to date through our website and meetings with allies. We have learned a lot, far too much for one article, so we want to start with what Ukrainian refugees need from the Homes for Ukraine programme.
Reset launches a matching and training service to pair sponsors and refugees under the UK Government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme. It has mobilised experts in safeguarding to assess sponsors and refugees to make sure that the matching is suitable.It will scale the matching service in response to refugee demand. Reset will also provide a training service, drawing on the expertise of Refugees at Home, for sponsors, local authorities, and community groups.
We were delighted to fund the VOICES Network to carry out a second phase of research with refugees resettled through Community Sponsorship into their experience of arriving in the UK. We believe this will offer Community Sponsorship groups a great deal of food for thought as they prepare to welcome families to the UK.
We are delighted to announce that our new Training Website is now live. The website’s new design and features make it easier for Community Sponsorship groups to access vital resources and track their progress.
Community Sponsorship groups will now be able to welcome Afghan refugees through the new Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme. We are adapting our training and support so that groups will be prepared to welcome refugees who have spent time in temporary accommodation.
The deadline for Lead Sponsors to register for the Community Sponsorship Backstop Fund is 31st January 2022. Co-Director of Reset, Dr Kate Brown, urges Lead Sponsors to register as soon as possible to benefit from the added security provided by the Backstop Fund.
Black Friday is renowned for being one of the busiest (and most chaotic!) shopping days of the year. But more and more people are now looking to use this day as an opportunity to make a difference to a cause close to their heart. This Black Friday, check out these ways you can support migrant communities during this festive season.
On 13th September the Minister for Afghan Resettlement Victoria Atkins confirmed that Community Sponsorship groups will be welcoming Afghan refugees through the Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme (ACRS).
In June 2021 Reset and the Refugee Council held an online event to hear views from refugee-led community organisations about Community Sponsorship. We have presented a joint briefing to the Immigration Minister Chris Philp making 5 recommendations to enable participation in Community Sponsorship by refugee-led community organisations.
On 24th March 2021, the UK Government published its New Plan for Immigration, outlining its proposals for reforming the asylum system in the UK. The consultation period for these proposals closes on the 6th May 2021.
At Reset, we support Community Sponsorship groups to welcome refugee families by providing training sessions, advice workshops, post-arrival support visits, and more. Although we’re the ones delivering the training and providing the advice, we’re actually learning from Community Sponsorship Groups in all of these situations.
The pandemic brought resettlement to a halt in March 2020. This had a huge impact on the lives of refugees left in limbo, as well as on the networks of support for refugees across Local Authorities and civil society.
One of Reset’s goals as the Community Sponsorship Learning Hub is to continuously improve our support to Community Sponsorship groups. The advice and resources on our training website don’t appear out of thin air. They are rooted in years of learning best practice from you: the people supporting refugee families directly.
On Sunday, US philanthropist Ed Shapiro pledged £1 million to launch a special fund aimed at encouraging growth in the UK’s Community Sponsorship Scheme. The fund will reduce the financial exposure of Lead Sponsors by providing a backstop that they can access as a last resort if a local Community Sponsorship Group is unable to fulfil its resettlement plan for the refugee family they have welcomed.
We have launched Communities for Refugees: a campaign to demonstrate support for resettlement and get volunteers ready to welcome refugees when resettlement resumes. We’re hugely excited about the campaign and the networks and partners we’re working with to spread the word.
At Reset, we talk a lot about the transformative potential of Community Sponsorship. How it impacts the lives of refugees welcomed into communities in this country, but also how it transforms the lives of those doing the welcoming and brings change to communities.
It’s been just over 4 years since the first refugee family arrived in the UK through the Community Sponsorship scheme. The successful development of a new programme always depends upon independent and thorough evaluation, which is why we are so excited by the University of Birmingham’s research into Community Sponsorship.
Community Sponsorship groups are required to source accommodation that a refugee family can live in for 2 years. In many parts of the country, finding accommodation that the refugee family will be able to afford when receiving Universal Credit is a real challenge. At Reset, we’ve been looking at how groups source accommodation and what lessons other groups can learn from them.
Russell Rook, having taken on a new role as interim director of a new international charity working in the Holy Land, has recently stepped down as Chair of the Board of Trustees at Reset. He has Chaired Reset since we were established in 2018 and we thank him for his dedication and expertise.
At Reset we welcome the Home Office’s post-2020 announcement, the continued commitment to resettlement, and in particular the move to make the numbers of refugees resettled via Community Sponsorship above and beyond those resettled through the government’s new global scheme. The implications of the announcement for the Community Sponsorship scheme are outlined in more detail below.
The Home Office has awarded £1million to the new civil society organisation Reset Communities and Refugees to enable them to provide support to groups across the UK looking to sponsor families fleeing the war in Syria as part of the Community Sponsorship scheme.