St Monica’s, Flixton, Manchester

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Train delays meant Sean Ryan almost missed the first ever meeting on refugee sponsorship held at the House of Lords in March 2016.

But eventually he made it to Westminster, and inspired by what he heard he returned to his Catholic church in East Manchester and urged his fellow parishioners to become a sponsoring group.

The 25 members of the group ranged from a local business owner to an elderly pensioner. Between them they found accommodation, furnished the house, wrote a settlement plan, submitted an application to the Home Office and were approved as a sponsoring group.

In November 2016, St Monica’s welcomed a family of five to their community. The family had spent four and a half years in Lebanon after fleeing Syria.