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.
Five things I’ve learned: Ellie Stacey, Community Sponsorship volunteer, Cornwall
Ellie Stacey has been at the forefront of Community Sponsorship since its launch in 2016. A former head teacher, she played a key role in setting up Bude Refugee Support Group before moving south and joining Falmouth and Penryn Welcome Refugee Families. She also finds the time to mentor other groups in the southwest. Here Ellie shares some of her learning about volunteering and resettling a refugee family.
“You can’t impose empowerment”
Community Sponsorship naturally attracts people who want to help others. You get involved because you want to help refugees in a practical way. But sometimes helping people can disempower them. So how do you empower newly arrived refugees rather than simply help them? Eveline, a Community Sponsor in Bristol, gives us her reflections on this question.
“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.
60 seconds with… Carol, Community Sponsor, Exeter
Carol started volunteering with her local Community Sponsorship group, CHARIS Exeter, in 2018. Here she shares the toughest and best bits about Community Sponsorship and describes an emotional reunion at Exeter airport.
“When people say, ‘Why are you helping refugees? Won’t they be sent back?’, I’m ready with the facts.”
Carol is a volunteer with CHARIS Exeter, a Community Sponsorship group in Devon. Here she tells us how Reset boosted her confidence and gave her insights into what refugee families might have been through before arriving in the UK.
“They’re amazing people and I’m really, really pleased they’re in our lives”
Maria and Mike Roe from Dorset knew they had to do something to help people from Ukraine. By sharing their home with Olha and her daughter Olena, they’ve learned more than they ever imagined.
“It’s important for me to tell them that people will accept them and they will have freedom here.”
Khadeja and her family were the first family to be welcomed to North Devon by the Pickwell Foundation, almost five years ago. Khadeja now works for the Pickwell Foundation, helping to support other refugee families arriving in the UK through Community Sponsorship. Here she tells us why this job is so important to her.
“I’ll never be able to put into words just how happy I was in that moment at the airport.”
Mamoun was resettled in Devon with his wife Amneh and their 5 children after fleeing Syria. He explains the impact that resettlement has had on his family and the joy of reuniting with his brother.
“I think there’s a lot of good in people and Community Sponsorship is a real opportunity to bring it out.”
Former head teacher Ellie Stacey is one of our pioneering Community Sponsors, having played a key role in building groups in Bude and Falmouth. Here Ellie tells us how volunteering helped her embrace retirement – and how inspired she feels by the power and potential of Community Sponsorship.