Community Sponsorship

Community sponsorship was introduced into the UK by the Home Office in response to the desire for the whole of civil society to play a greater role in resettling the most vulnerable refugees.

In 2018 Faith in Families were approached by a Catholic group of parishioners who had formed a steering group in order to welcome a refugee family to Derby. This group called Derby CaReS needed a charity to become the lead sponsor for the steering committee. At Faith in Families we saw this as a positive opportunity to support vulnerable children in the community and so agreed to become the lead sponsor for this group and any other groups that emerge across the East Midlands. It seemed clear that supporting vulnerable children and families fitted with our values.

Faith in Families in partnership with Derby CaReS are soon to submit our first application form to the home office and hope that a family will be in their new home by the end of the year.

What is Community Sponsorship?

Community Sponsorship is an opportunity for you to help a refugee family build a home and stable life in the UK. Community sponsors can be formed from a wide range of groups with a desire to help refugees, including faith groups, local charities and community businesses.

Why sponsorship?

Moving to a new environment can be an unsettling experience, especially for those who have been forced to flee their homes. Community Sponsorship is a way for the whole of civil society to be directly involved in helping refugees settle in the UK, providing emotional and practical support. Being a sponsor can also bring enormous benefit to the local community, through harnessing the generosity of local people, and creating new bonds between different local groups to bring positive changes to people’s lives.

Opportunity

The Community Sponsor group supports the empowerment of refugee families to become self-sufficient members of their new community by:

Through the sponsorship scheme communities across the UK are already seeing how welcoming a refugee family into their local area can transform lives.

Can you be a Community Sponsor?

Acting as a community sponsor to a resettled family is hugely rewarding, but it is also a large responsibility. To make sure that you are prepared to resettle a family, your group will need to create a clear plan for how you will resettle and integrate the family into a safe and supportive environment. This will involve:

  • showing that your group has experience working with vulnerable people

 • showing you can safeguard the family

 • finding suitable housing • getting the permission of your Local Authority

 • demonstrating that your group has funds available to respond to any needs not covered by the benefits your family will receive. In addition, your group will either need to be, or be partnered with, a registered charity or community interest company.

Working towards meeting these requirements is absolutely achievable with effort, motivation and goodwill. If you are interested in finding out more information about becoming a Community Sponsor you can see a video about the scheme here: https://goo.gl/RE1AsB and find out how to apply here: www. gov.uk/government/publications/applyfor-full-community-sponsorship

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us: communitysponsorship@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

By welcoming a refugee family into your community, you can make a real difference.

Making it happen

Being a community sponsor can bring enormous benefits to the local community, through the generosity of local people, and allowing different groups to become directly involved in helping refugees to begin new lives in the UK.

Local authorities play an important role in sponsorship and must provide written consent to enable an organisation to sponsors a family. Guidance has been developed for Local Authorities to help them make an informed decision when considering approaches from sponsors.

Faith in Families Role

We are acting as the lead sponsor charity for any groups that make the request across the east midlands. We can provide DBS checks, safeguarding training and ongoing support. If you are thinking of setting up a Community sponsorship group then please contact Lynda Fletcher or Malcolm Dodd on 0115 9558811.

Community Sponsorship black and white photo of refugee child.