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.
Zahar and Lena arrived in a small market town in Lincolnshire just as the Covid-19 pandemic took hold. At first they wanted to leave as quickly as possible and move to a bigger, more diverse city. But now they say they wouldn’t want to live anywhere else and are volunteering with their Community Sponsorship group to welcome another family to the area.
So far 8 families have been welcomed to Devon since Community Sponsorship began in the UK. Here the Resettlement Coordinator at Devon County Council, Stephen Matthewman, shares their experiences of working with Community Sponsorship groups reflects on the benefits that welcoming refugees has had on Devon communities.