Community Sponsorship enables people across the UK to transform the lives of vulnerable refugee families by welcoming them into their local communities and supporting them as they rebuild their lives in safety.
Up and down the country, communities have made the amazing decision to welcome and support a refugee family.
Could your community be next?
What are the benefits of Community Sponsorship?
We know that there are people all over the UK with the necessary energy, compassion and local expertise to support refugees to rebuild their lives here in the UK. Community Sponsorship mobilises these local communities to empower refugees and provide them with all the tools they need to live independent and fulfilling lives. For refugees, being resettled to a new country can be a lifeline, but it can also be an incredibly daunting challenge. When you can't speak the language and don't have any support from friends or family, even the smallest tasks can seem insurmountable. Through Community Sponsorship, local people provide direct support to refugee families to help them overcome these challenges. Learning English, enrolling your children in school, finding a job and making friends are all so much more manageable when you have a community around you to answer questions, show you round the neighbourhood, and offer a cup of tea and a shoulder to lean on at the end of the day.
Community Sponsorship transforms communities at the same time as it transforms the lives of refugee families. Across the UK, we've seen Community Sponsorship Groups bring together people of different generations, faiths and opinions to work towards a common goal: to provide a warm welcome to a family in need of a home. The connections, friendships and skills that grow from this shared experience strengthen the bonds that bind local communities together.
What do Community Sponsorship Groups in the UK do?
Community Sponsorship Groups make a formal commitment to provide support for a refugee family for one year. This support includes: meeting the family at the airport, providing a warm welcome and orientation, organising language tuition, and supporting access to medical services, social services, education and employment.
Before the refugee family arrives, the Group must also source accommodation for the refugee family to rent and raise £9,000 to contribute towards the initial costs that the family will incur when they first arrive (e.g. purchasing school uniforms, the first month of rent). The family will be entitled to apply for benefits so they will not need to rely on donations after this intial period.
What is the process to sponsor a refugee family?
To welcome a refugee family through Community Sponsorship, you must submit a formal application to the Home Office. There are four main stages in the Community Sponsorship journey.
Form a Group
Welcome the family
Support the Family
You can learn more about the Community Sponsorship Journey here.
How can I get involved?
There are so many ways you can get involved in Community Sponsorship. No matter where you live or what skills you have, there is a role for you. You can start a Group in your local area or you can join an existing Group. You can donate to a Group or publicise them on social media. If you're a landlord, you can rent out your property to the refugee family, or if you have specific skills or expertise (like English teaching or translating) you could offer your services. Find out what option is suitable for you through our Get Involved page.