We’ve collected profiles, Q&As, first-person accounts, in-depth features, top tips and films from across the UK’s community-led welcome activities.
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ExperienceMore stories tagged Experience
“We felt safe”
When asked how he and wife Amira felt when they arrived in Northern Ireland in September 2019, Rashed simply says: “We felt safe.” The couple and their daughters were welcomed to Whitehead by the Small World Community Sponsorship Group. Here they share their memories of the first few days.
“Our duty to our neighbours beyond the UK will still exist when we emerge from this pandemic.”
Jackie McLoughlin, founder of the Sutton Deanery Community Sponsorship Group, was awarded Maundy Money in an 800-year-old tradition which sees people doing outstanding work in their communities recognised by the reigning monarch on Maundy Thursday. Jackie tells us what Community Sponsorship means to her and why she believes that more people should be sponsoring refugees.
“When I needed help, there were people to help me.”
Rawasia’s school in Syria was bombed. Now she’s studying at school in Liverpool. She told us all about how the people in Liverpool have helped her, and about her big plans for the future.
AdviceMore stories tagged Advice
“As Lead Sponsors we strengthen the bonds that tie us together by supporting groups to welcome refugees”
The Pickwell Foundation is a grant making charity based in North Devon. Two families set up the foundation in 2012. It gives small to medium sized grants, by invitation, to charities that are working either with displaced people or in the area of climate change. A central part of its work is as a Lead Sponsor for community sponsorship groups in the North Devon area. Susannah Baker from the foundation tells their story.
How to support a refugee child to adapt to school
Ellie is a member of two Community Sponsorship Groups in Cornwall and has more than 20 years' experience in education. Here she shares her top tips on helping children adapt to education in the UK.
“It’s really special knowing that hundreds of people in Ripon have donated so that a refugee family can find safety here.”
Community Sponsorship groups are required to raise £9000 to resettle a refugee family. Ruth Foulds leads the Ripon City of Sanctuary Community Sponsorship group. They’ve raised more than £6000 so far. Here she tells us how they’ve approached fundraising.
Home is where the bread is
Food can taste like home. It connects us to our heritage and our memories. The Fayyad family were so happy to be welcomed to Falmouth by their Community Sponsors. But there was one thing missing: Arabic-style bread. The family began to bake their own bread, and shared their skills with their sponsors.
ITV London News- Homes for Ukraine
ITV London spoke to Dymtro about his experience of leaving Ukraine, and Sean and Shahidul about their positive experience of hosting him in their London home.
This video is the property of ITV London News who have kindly allowed us to share it on our site.
A Warm Devon Welcome
Meet some of the Community Sponsorship groups who with the support of Lead Sponsor, The Pickwell Foundation, are welcoming families to Devon. Hear about impact welcoming refugees is having on them and their communities.
Advice for landlords with houses to rent
Hear from landlords Jo and Ingrid about why they'd recommend renting to refugees to every landlord and find out what support exists for you if you have a property to rent.
Making the world a better place through resettling refugees
"I am much more confident that the world will be a better place - soon!" Marian McNichol from the Settle Refugee Group talks about the makeup of their group and how knowing the support there is for refugee resettlement in Settle makes her proud of her community and hopeful for the future.
Introducing Community Sponsorship
Community Sponsorship enables people across the UK to transform the lives of vulnerable refugee families by welcoming them into their local communities and supporting them as they rebuild their lives in safety. Find out more in this video.
Join a Community Sponsorship Group
In every region of the UK, there are Groups that are preparing to welcome refugees to their local areas through Community Sponsorship. If someone in your local area has already started a Community Sponsorship Group, we can put you in touch. If no one has started a Group in your local area yet, maybe you could be that person?
Coming Home to Wales
In 2018, Mohanad and his family arrived in Wales, after fleeing the war in Syria and living in harsh conditions in Lebanon. Croesco Teifi, a community sponsor group in Wales, made this possible. This year the group welcomed a second Syrian family, Ahmed and his family, into the community.
How does Community Sponsorship Work?
This animation tells you a little bit more about how Community Sponsorship works and the practical things you will get involved with if you become a volunteer.
“They push me so I can stand without help”
In 2017, Syrian refugees Hani, Amneh and their two children were welcomed to a new life in Ottery St Mary, Devon, thanks to Abide, a Community Sponsor group in Devon.
“It has brought us closer together.”
Iman Khan from Kettering Refugee Assistance tells us about why he got involved in Community Sponsorship and the impact that it's had on his community.
"If you want to make a change, then you can"
We spoke to Kate from Herne Hill Welcomes Refugees, and she told us about the impact her local Community Sponsorship group has had on her sense of community and encourages others to get involved!
Dreams Come True in Manchester
In 2018, Noura, Sakeer and their family arrived in Manchester, after living in harsh conditions in Lebanon. UNHCR introduced the family to St. Michael & St. Bernadette’s, a community sponsorship group which welcomed the family into their community. The family have quickly settled into the community, becoming close friends with the group members.