“As the Lead Sponsor we are like the trunk of a tree and each group we support is like one of the tree’s branches”
Tyneside Welcomes started out as a small group of volunteers with no single political or faith-based affiliation. As a group they resettled one Syrian refugee family in their neighbourhood and set up as a Lead Sponsor so that they can work with a broader network of people across Tyneside to resettle other refugee families. Members Richard Young and Lindsay Brigham tell their Lead Sponsor story.
“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.
“You’re hoping to catch new people and inspire somebody to start another group in another locality”
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.
“Becoming a Lead Sponsor was a logical next step in terms of scaling up our impact”
Caritas Salford works as a Lead Sponsor for groups across the North West, mainly within two dioceses: Salford and Lancaster. To date, Caritas Salford has welcomed eleven families with the help of eleven groups. Anais Fahd, Community Sponsorship Development Coordinator, Caritas Salford, tells their story.
60 seconds with… Della
Della worked with a small team of volunteers to welcome three refugee nurses to Great Yarmouth. Find out why she got involved in Neighbours for Newcomers and what advice she has for other volunteers.
“We were one unit, one spirit, one humanity.”
In 2017, people from different faith groups across Redbridge* were brought together by one goal: they all wanted to help a Syrian family find safety in the UK. They became The Redbridge Community Sponsorship Partnership and, in June 2019, they welcomed a refugee family to their borough. Here, we talk to Qaiser Malik from South Woodford Mosque and Pete Southern from Wanstead Quakers about how the group came together.
“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.
“Now I realised the real greatness of community groups.”
Khalid, his wife and their four children settled in Cardiff in 2019. Before his first Ramadan in the UK, Khalid was worrying about what to expect. Here he explains how the experience was actually a breakthrough moment for him in feeling welcomed and supported.
“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.
“It was the first time we ever saw something like this.”
Amira, Rashed and their three daughters arrived in Northern Ireland in September 2019, where they were welcomed by the Small World Community Sponsorship group. With Christmas just a couple of weeks away we thought we would talk to Amira about her first Christmas in the UK. She shares her surprise at her daughters’ star turns and why she thinks getting involved in each other’s festivities is so important.