We’ve collected profiles, Q&As, first-person accounts, in-depth features, top tips and films from across the UK’s Community Sponsorship activities.
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ExperienceMore stories tagged Experience
Marisol Reyes Soto is a researcher at University of Birmingham’s Institute for Research into Superdiversity (IRiS). She led the research on an evaluation of the Community Sponsorship scheme in its pilot phase. Here she reflects on the impact meeting volunteers had on her.
Community Sponsorship volunteer Svenja Powell is one of the founding members of Canterbury Welcomes Refugees. The group first welcomed a Syrian refugee family in 2019: a mother and father, their two grown-up sons and their two primary-age children. Here Svenja tells us about lifting language barriers, a cautious introduction to Father Christmas and doorstep story-telling during lockdown.
Sam, a refugee from Syria, arrived in the UK in 2017 through the Community Sponsorship scheme. In this blog he shares his Community Sponsorship story – from being welcomed to the UK to preparing to welcome a new family as a volunteer himself.
AdviceMore stories tagged Advice
Once you have submitted your application to the Home Office and it has been checked, they’ll get in touch to schedule your pre-approval visit (PAV). A ‘meeting with the Home Office’ sounds a little intimidating so here are our top tips for getting ready for it.
Catherine’s Community Sponsorship Group, Croeso Menai, welcomed a refugee family to North Wales in February 2021 and is already preparing for a second family. The community there have been very supportive in helping Croeso Menai to smash fundraising targets and fully furnish a home for the family. Catherine shares her top tips on keeping your community engaged and enthusiastic.
“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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.