Community Sponsorship – a journey together


A year and a half ago Raynes Park Community Church became the second group in the country to welcome a Syrian refugee family through the Community Sponsorship Scheme. 

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Meet the Shortlisted Nominees of Community Sponsorship Awards 2018

On 7th May we launched nominations for the Community Sponsorship Awards 2018. It was a delight to receive so many inspiring examples of sponsorship from across the UK. We want to extend our heartfelt thanks to all those who took time to nominate their heroines and heroes of Community Sponsorship of Refugees. 

With over 150 nominations, our judges had a very a tough decision to make. We are thrilled to announce the shortlisted nominees.

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First Staff-Based Group To Welcome a Family

Credit: Migrants OrganiseThe Welcome Committee, a group of London-based volunteers, are set to welcome a Syrian refugee family to Lambeth in a few weeks time.

They are the first work-based community sponsorship group in the UK to receive Home Office approval, having developed from a group of pioneering colleagues from Amnesty International, with support from Migrants Organise.

Abby Robinson, co-founding member of the Welcome Committee says, “In just over a year, we have grown from what started out as a room full of strangers, into a wonderfully supportive community group full of creativity, passion and determination. The group has managed to exceed fundraising targets, has secured accommodation, pondered ethical dilemmas, learned new skills, and through learning about the journey that refugees face in London, has developed a new found understanding of the challenges that our communities face as a whole.’’

Read their full story here

Community Sponsorship Workshop at Greenbelt Festival



Sponsor Refugees Director Tim Finch has written a guest blog for Greenbelt Festival on his own path to Community Sponsorship.

Tim Finch and Sponsor Refugees will hold workshops on Community Sponsorship of Refugees at this year's Greenbelt Festival, 24th - 27th August. Join us to find out how you can transform the life of a refugee and your own community via community sponsorship groups

To read Tim's full guest blog click here.



What Can We Learn From Canada?

Anyone who meets Bekele Woyecha, Senior Project Manager of Sponsor Refugees, is taken aback by his infectious, interminable commitment to Community Sponsorship. This summer, his commitment took him across the globe to Canada, to learn from the country that has pioneered the private sponsorship of refugees.

Since launching Community Sponsorship in 1979, Canada has welcomed 300,000 refugees through the scheme (in addition to government resettlement numbers). 1 in 15 Canadians have been directly involved in resettling refugees in their neighbourhoods.

Bekele travelled across the vast country to meet these ordinary citizens who are doing extraordinary things, to find out what makes the scheme such a success. The trip was generously funded by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.

We are delighted to welcome him back from the trip, and learn from his wealth of experiences.

Read Bekele's blog about his experiences here:

Read an interview with Bekele here:

Join Our Campaign To #ExtendtheWelcome

On 29th June, 200 civil society leaders joined together to launch Citizen UK’s #ExtendtheWelcome campaign.


The campaign highlights the success of the UK's refugee resettlement scheme, which to date has offered sanctuary to over 10,000 of the most vulnerable refugees, including families with disabilities or experiences of torture.

The Home Office is currently reviewing the future of refugee resettlement beyond 2020. There is a risk that the Home Office will decide to scale down - or even stop altogether - the resettlement of vulnerable refugees.

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One-Hundred People Turn Out for Louth Launch

On the evening of Tuesday 19th June, Louth Churches for Refugees welcomed one-hundred members of the community to Louth Methodist Church.  Those attending were asked to support, practically and financially, a vision to welcome a vulnerable Syrian family to resettle and integrate within the Louth area.  The evening was supported by national guest speakers and local exhibitors, LincsRefugeesDoctors and Greater Lincolnshire Area of Sanctuary.

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7 #SimpleActs for Refugee Week 2018

This week marks the 20th Anniversary of Refugee Week. The theme this year is “Simple Acts”: the small things we can do to make a difference to the lives of displaced people across the world.

See our list of 7 Simple Acts you can take to welcome a vulnerable Syrian family in your local community.





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Another family in Aberystwyth

ABERAID have been interviewed by the local press, Cambrian News, about their experience of community sponsorship. 

ABERAID are one of the leading community sponsorship groups, and have now resettled another family.

In the article, the group describe their journey, and discuss the wonderful donations of time, money and gifts from the local community. 

Read the full article here

Haverfordwest start a Community Sponsorship group

Jeff Britten describes the group's journey from starting a community sponsorship group to a family arriving in Haverfordwest.

Jeff Britten has written a personal story of how he went from someone who was inspired by other nearby community sponsorship groups, to a founding group member, all the way to having a Syrian family arrive earlier this month. 

To read Jeff's full story, click here