Community Sponsorship enables the local community to directly support a newly resettled refugee family from the moment they arrive in the UK. This ground-breaking new development for refugee resettlement was announced by the UK Government in Summer 2016 committing to over 20,000 refugees by 2020. It is modeled on the hugely successful Canadian Private Sponsorship scheme which has resettled nearly 280,000 refugees since its introduction in 1979.
How does it work?
Sponsoring a refugee family requires the community to be committed for a period of at least 18 months. A community sponsor’s responsibilities include:
• Finding affordable housing
• Providing financial support, especially in the initial period of resettlement
• Seeking Local Authority consent
• Meeting the family at the airport
• Arranging English language tuition
• Support towards employment and self-sufficiency
Community sponsors are formally responsible for the integration and progress of resettled family for one year, and their housing for two years. Each resettled family will be different but they will all have suffered the loss of their home. Many will have lost loved ones, friends and family, and witnessed the horrors of war. Some may have specific medical needs or disabilities.
Who can do it?
There needs to be a core group of around 8 to 10 people who will take the lead on Housing, Education, Employment & Benefits, Welfare, Finance, Community Relations & a Project Manager, who has overall responsibility for the delivery of the plan. Each leader should bring more people on board to get involved and support the refugees resettle here in the UK.
For more information on the program click here.