Sponsor Refugees: The Citizens UK Foundation for the Sponsorship of Refugees was established in October 2017.
The Foundation is a project of Citizens UK which organises communities to act together for power, social justice and the common good.
Citizens UK first called for the introduction of sponsorship of refugees, based on the Canadian model, at the height of the refugee crisis in September 2015. Only weeks later the then Home Secretary, Theresa May, announced that the Home Office would look at the idea.
Citizens UK then became one of the leading civil society partners helping the government to design and produce the Community Sponsorship scheme. After the UK sponsorship scheme was launched in July 2016, Citizens UK through its network of Refugee Welcome groups and through Citizens UK local chapters, have been working to promote the scheme and to support pioneer groups to become sponsors.
The establishment of Sponsor Refugees in October 2017 allows Citizens UK to increase this work.
Sponsor Refugees was launched at the East London Mosque on Monday 9th October 2017 with an event which brought together more than 200 people from across the UK. 10 Downing Street sent the following message of support:
"The Prime Minister believes community sponsorship presents communities with a great opportunity to help vulnerable refugees rebuild their lives in the UK, and the efforts of the NGO community and all parts of civil society to support the scheme are vital in ensuring its success.
The Prime Minister wishes to pass on her congratulations on the Foundation's launch."
A healthy democracy with civil society at its heart.
A Britain that is more open and welcoming.
Putting communities at the heart of welcoming refugees. Supporting refugees to rebuild their lives in Britain. Promoting community sponsorship as a core part of refugee protection. Celebrating strengthened communities, where everybody lives well together.
We welcome refugees. We are committed. We are pioneers. We work in partnership.