A key requirement for a Community Sponsorship (CS) group to be accepted as a sponsor by the Home Office is that you are:
- Already a registered charity or community interest company (CIC) or
- You become a registered charity or CIC or
- You link up with an existing registered charity or CIC which will act as their ‘Lead Sponsor’
This requirement reflects the fact that CS is a significant commitment for a volunteer community group and the Home Office wants to be sure that every group is able to fulfil its responsibilities to the refugee family.
Establishing a Charity or CIC
Establishing your group as a registered charity or CIC requires a lot of time, paperwork and annual reporting. This may be worth doing if,
- You want to operate with full independence
- You intend to welcome multiple families
- You aspire to become a hub for Community Sponsorship in your area
If you decide to take this step, we are to connect you with other CS groups who have completed the process for advice. Contact email@example.com.
Partnering with an Existing Charity or CIC
Alternatively, you can ask an established charity/CIC to be an umbrella charity for your group. Umbrella charities (or “Lead Sponsors”) could be a local faith group, school, Rotary Club, Mothers’ Union, Village Society, among others. The following organisations have extensive experience with CS and may be able to play this role:
Sponsor Refugees and Citizens UK acts as Lead Sponsor to a number of Community Sponsorship Groups. We have limited capacity to take on more groups, but are always happy to talk to groups and give advice. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Download our Introductory Guide for Lead Sponsors to understand the requirements of the role.