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).
Community Sponsorship groups are made up of local volunteers who commit to welcoming and supporting a refugee family in their neighbourhood. Community Sponsors find a home for the family, greet them at the airport, and then work with them over a 1 year period to learn English, access education or employment, and settle into life in the community.
Kate Brown, Co-Director of Reset, the charity that trains people to become Community Sponsors, said:
“We’re thrilled that Community Sponsors will be able to welcome Afghan refugees through the new Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme. We know that people all over the UK want to give Afghan refugees a warm welcome and Community Sponsorship is a brilliant way to do this. It means that from the moment a refugee family arrives in the UK, they will have neighbours who are looking out for them, who care about them, and who are trained to provide high quality support with everything from registering children at school to finding employment and accessing health care.”
Since the Taliban took power in Afghanistan, Reset has seen a dramatic increase in people looking to set up Community Sponsorship groups in their local areas.
Carly Whyborn, Head of Operations at Reset, said:
“We’ve been amazed by the number of people getting in touch. Many of them want to know how they can set up Community Sponsorship groups. Others are looking for ways to donate to existing Community Sponsorship groups, or are even offering to rent out properties at reduced rates to refugee families arriving through the programme. It’s clear that the situation in Afghanistan has really moved people to act.”
To find out more about Community Sponsorship and get started on your journey, register for an Introduction to Community Sponsorship session online.
The Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme is not yet open, but Reset is urging people to get started on their Community Sponsorship journeys now so that they are ready to welcome refugees as soon as the scheme begins.
Carly Whyborn, Head of Operations at Reset, explained:
“A lot of preparation is needed to welcome a refugee family to your neighbourhood. You’ll need to complete our training sessions, reach out to friends and neighbours, raise money, and find a property. This all takes time and meanwhile the need just gets greater and greater. So please don’t delay getting started! We’re always happy to hear from anyone thinking about setting up a group.”
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