“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.

“I know the importance of having a community – not just one person – but a community who is prepared to make that transition easier for you.”

Sofia Gamio is a junior doctor working at the James Cook hospital in Middlesbrough. In the little spare time she has, Sofia is preparing to welcome refugee families to Newcastle with her Community Sponsorship group, Tyneside Welcomes. Ahead of International Migrants Day, we chatted to Sofia about where her motivation for supporting refugees comes from, and how she got involved in Community Sponsorship.