Kimie Frengler

  • How Croeso Menai welcomed a Syrian family to North Wales

    The below is a blog written by Sonya Woodward from the Croeso Menai community sponsorship group in North Wales. The group persevered for three years and welcomed a family to their local neighbourhood in February 2021.


    We are a little team of volunteers near Bangor in North Wales, called Croeso Menai – and we have just welcomed our first Syrian refugee family into our community. It has taken us 3 years, patiently setting ourselves up as a charity and applying to become a community sponsorship group, organising fund raising, and getting permission from the Home Office and local council. At times, the bi-weekly meetings seemed tedious and futile, but we persevered with our commitment to the cause.

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  • published Community Sponsorship Starter Pack in Resources 2021-02-09 13:35:36 +0000

    Community Sponsorship Starter Pack

    Community Sponsorship is much more than you think

    In 2015, Citizens UK (of which Sponsor Refugees is a project) took a lead in pressing the government to allow local people to play a bigger role in resettling refugees. We successfully urged ministers to introduce Community Sponsorship of refugees, through which community groups would take on the responsibility of welcoming, supporting and settling refugee families. 

    The project gives ordinary people like you and me the chance to change a refugee family's life for good by welcoming and helping them settle in our local neighbourhood. Community Sponsorship transforms not only the life of the resettled family but the life of every volunteer and the community at large. This is why many sponsorship groups have welcomed more than one family.

    To give you an idea of its impact, watch the videos below:

    • This video is from the Pickwell Foundation who welcomed a Syrian family to Devon and is one of our personal favourites 
    • This video is about Khaled, a Syrian refugee who was resettled in Wales 
    What is Community Sponsorship actually?
    For more practical info about what it requires to be a community sponsor, you can check these two links:
    Sponsor Refugees -Community Sponsorship 101
    While the project definitely demands an unwavering commitment from its volunteers, all efforts are repaid tenfold. It tightens community bonds and sponsors are adamant that they benefit at least as much as the refugees from the process. 
    What is Community Sponsorship actually?
    And how do I get started? Email Sponsor Refugees at [email protected] to arrange an informal chat. 

    Spreading the word virtually

    Reset has created a wonderful toolbox of social media posts so that you can populate your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with the Community Sponsorship message.

  • published Our Campaigns in What Is Community Sponsorship 2020-12-14 15:25:25 +0000

    Our Campaigns

    At Sponsor Refugees, we continue to campaign to increase the number of refugees who come to the UK through the government resettlement scheme(s) and Community Sponsorship. 

    Below you can find an overview of our campaigns. 


    Correspondence with MP Chris Philp on the resumption of resettlement flights

    When the pandemic led the IOM and UNHCR to announce a hold on resettlement flights globally, it left refugees languishing in a deeply unsafe situation. It simultaneously left Community Sponsorship groups in a limbo of juggling empty properties, redeploying resources and withstanding dwindling momentum. So after six months of silence from the government, groups decided to take action.

    Below are the letters to Conservative MP Chris Philp signed by 36 group members and the responses we received. 

    You can find the letter we sent the MP here.

    And the response we received here.

    You can read our follow-up letter here.

    And the Minister's reply here


    Extending the welcome - resettling 25,000 refugees by 2025

    As the VPRS scheme comes to an in March 2021 with no current commitments to extend, we at Sponsor Refugees, along with Community Sponsorship groups across the country, are campaigning for the government to resettle 25.000 refugees by 2025.

    On Sunday 6th December 2020, we hosted the Refugees Still Welcome Assembly where Chris Philp MP attended alongside a long list of speakers from across the globe to celebrate the champions of council-led resettlement and community sponsorship. We also called on the government to extend the welcome and resettle 25.000 refugees by 2025. You can read all the details here.



  • published Donate in What You Can Do 2020-11-17 15:54:21 +0000


    Make a difference in a refugee family's life today

    It’s been almost 10 years since the outbreak of the war in Syria, and the plight of many of the world’s refugees has not improved.   

    In countries neighbouring Syria, refugees are not only suffering yet another brutal winter but also Covid-19, which is testing limited medical resources in the camps there. 


    Since 2015, 20,000 refugees have found new hope in the UK thanks to the Government’s resettlement scheme – won by the tireless campaigning of thousands of people like you, Kimie. Sponsor Refugees' community sponsorship programme is one crucial part.  


    Sponsor Refugees has provided safe and legal routes to the UK for refugees like Khaled, who is now a key worker in the fight against Covid-19, working as a cleaner in a hospital; refugees like Falak, who recently graduated from college and dreams of being an interior designer; and Ahmed, who helped cook meals for care workers during the early days of the pandemic, and is now a barber.  


    At our Refugees Still Welcome Assembly this weekend, immigration minister Chris Philp MP said that the Government is committed to welcoming more refugees into the UK. And we want to be there to help more local groups do just that. 


    For Sponsor Refugees to continue our efforts to build new groups around the country so more refugee families can reach safety and start new lives, we need your donations. 

    £10 would help us find an affordable house for a refugee family through our landlord registry.

    £35 would help to provide training for a community group to prepare to welcome a refugee family.

    £50 would help to support a family to identify and achieve their goals.

    £100 would help us to build a new community sponsorship group to welcome a family to the UK. 





  • A PATH through Covid - How Citizens UK Members can ‘Plan Alternative Tomorrows with Hope’

    By Dr Tim Cox, who has received a doctorate in Applied Educational Psychology from Newcastle University. He has been working as part of the Tyne and Wear Citizens mental health action team.

    Ever since I first became aware of Citizens UK in 2008 it has been abundantly clear that the organisation and its members are brought together in alliances around challenging social injustices and enabling communities to reorganise themselves in a fairer and more cohesive manner. When I think of the work of Citizens UK, Tony Benn’s conceptualisation of human progress relying on the flame of anger at injustice and the flame of hope, that things can be better, comes to mind. Citizens UK is in the business of fanning the flames of hope and anger at injustice and encouraging communities to take their place at the negotiation table. Over the last decade, community organising has proved a healthy antidote to the polarisation of British society and given me hope that there is a better future ahead.


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  • Campaign on Resettlement - Action points for reopening and extending the scheme

    On 17 March 2020, just days before Community Sponsorship groups were headed for the airport to welcome a refugee family, the IOM announced that due to COVID-19, resettlement flights would be suspended until further notice. 

    Seven months later, Community Sponsorship groups in the UK continue to sit in unbearable suspense - and the families they were ready to welcome left languishing in deeply precarious circumstances -  as refugees board planes destined for France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and several other countries with little clarification on why the UK remains conspicuously absent from the list.

    To break this silence and see resettlement numbers climb upwards again, we at Sponsor Refugees, alongside our colleagues at Reset, Charis, Refugee Action and many more, decided to take action. You can an overview of the action points below: 


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  • published Teaching English to Refugees in News 2020-09-28 10:08:49 +0100

    Teaching English to Refugees

    Here at Bath Welcomes Refugees, we’ve been offering English support for nearly 5 years. While we have certainly not got this down to a perfect art form, we have managed to build up a good cache of knowledge and resources along the way. We currently have over 60 volunteer teachers working 1-2-1 and providing group classes and we are eagerly awaiting our first Community sponsorship family. For what it’s worth, here is my advice.


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  • On resettlement flights: A letter to MP Chris Philp

    When the pandemic led the IOM and UNHCR to announce a hold on resettlement flights globally, it left refugees languishing in a deeply unsafe situation. It simultaneously left Community Sponsorship groups in a limbo of juggling empty properties, redeploying resources and withstanding dwindling momentum. So after six months of silence from the government, groups decided to take action.

    Below are the letter to Conservative MP Chris Philp signed by 36 group members and the response we received. 

    As the VPRS scheme comes to an in March 2021 with no current commitments to extend, we at Sponsor Refugees, along with Community Sponsorship groups across the country, are campaigning for the government to resettle 25.000 refugees by 2025.

    You can find the letter we sent the MP here.

    And the answer we received here

    UPDATE - 12/10/2020 : You can read our response to Chris Philp's letter here

    UPDATE - 03/12/2020 : You can read Chris Phil's response to our second letter here.



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  • Rehoming Syrian refugees in Oxford – how to get involved

    Abstract from "Rehoming Syrian refugees in Oxford – how to get involved"

    Two years ago I arrived at Gatwick airport with my wife and baby son having fled the conflict in Syria.

    We were met by our community sponsors who had volunteered to support my family as we rebuilt our lives in Oxford.

    Their support has been life-changing for me and my family.

    Just two years into our new lives here, we’re speaking English, working, and now supporting other vulnerable people in Oxford by delivering food parcels during the coronavirus lockdown.

    From the moment we landed in the UK, our sponsors, who had met at Sunday mass in Blackfriars in central Oxford, became our community.

    As well as practical support, they helped us feel welcome and at home: I always say that my children have six grandmothers because they have so many women doting on them!





  • published A quiet act of welcome in News 2020-08-06 09:51:58 +0100

    A quiet act of welcome

    Abstract from "A quiet act of welcome"

    LAMBETH PALACE made the headlines in 2016 when a cottage in its grounds was offered to the first Syrian family coming to Britain under the Community Refugee Sponsorship scheme. The Archbishop of Canterbury described the scheme as “presenting churches and other civil-society groups with the opportunity to provide sanctuary to those fleeing war-torn places. Refugees, like all people, are treasured human beings, made in the image of God, who deserve safety, freedom, and the opportunity to flourish.”

    “Where possible, the guiding principle has been to integrate the host community, first, by encouraging as many organisations as possible to become involved,” she says. “It’s been wonderful watching how a very diverse community has come together to welcome a stranger. It has transformed their outlook.”

    Churches in the city have long been involved in this field, and liaise closely with Sponsor Refugees (which works with Citizens UK), and Reset UK, which provides the mandatory training that host groups undertake, as well as wrap-around support. Smethwick Church Action Network is hoping to welcome a family to Smethwick later this year, and is keen for this to be something that draws the community together and boosts social cohesion.

    Mr Evans emphasises: “For anyone thinking about doing it, it isn’t a question of just ticking boxes and saying, ‘We’d like to do it.’ It’s a long process, but there’s so much guidance available, and so many groups that have done it before, that it’s an achievable goal for a church or other community.


  • Wanstead volunteers raise enough money to sponsor refugee family

    Abstract from "Despite coronavirus setbacks Wanstead volunteers raise enough money to sponsor refugee family"

    Refugee Welcome Wanstead (RWW) started raising money before coronavirus lockdown to take advantage of the Home Office’s Community Sponsorship Scheme, where a community group can help sponsor and support a refugee family.

    “The majority of displaced people in the world already contend with underlying health conditions, malnutrition and poor sanitation, worsening the threat of the virus.”

    “That’s why it’s more important than ever that we keep working to take a Syrian refugee family out of danger and welcome them into our community here in Wanstead.”


  • From Northern Lebanon to North West London - how a Syrian family embraced Hampstead wholeheartedly

    In September 2019, the Welcome Syrian Families group (WSF) in Hampstead welcomed a family of 4. Below a deeply heartening update on the family’s astounding commitment to life in North West London just before the lockdown was imposed. 

    Having arrived in London with no English, no friends and only a couple of suitcases between them, six months in, the family now seems well ensconced in Hampstead.


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  • We Need You! Take Part in Refugee Week

    As Refugee Week (15th-21st June 2020) approaches, Reset, Charis and Sponsor Refugees are calling for new groups to ‘Welcome a Newcomer’ through Community Sponsorship.

    The UN estimates that there are 1.4 million refugees needing resettlement across the world, and as a result of the global pandemic there is a growing backlog of refugees from the Syrian conflict who are languishing in refugee camps. The UK Government’s Community Sponsorship Scheme allows ordinary people to bring a refugee family to live in their community, and support them to integrate. Every time a group commits to Community Sponsorship, another vulnerable refugee family gets the opportunity to rebuild their lives in the UK.

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  • Exciting news about Sponsor Refugees from Citizens UK

    Dear Friend, 

    It has been a big week for Sponsor Refugees!  The trustees of Citizens UK have this week published a review of our governance – and the good news is that Sponsor Refugees will remain a core project of Citizens UK.  It is a massive vote of confidence in our work, and means we can get on with our exciting plans to grow the number of community sponsors in 2020.

    On that note, congratulations to Croeso Butetown, West Hampstead Welcomes, Refugees Welcome Wolverton, Cotham and Redland Welcome, Southend Community Sponsorship Group and Chelmsford Community Sponsorship who have all hit important milestones this month.  We’re hoping to use the Lockdown to build up a bank of sponsors who are ready to start resettlement as soon as the scheme is reopened – and we know that 1 Family Cardiff, Croeso Menai, Wendover Refugee Assistance Project, Waltham Forest Community Sponsor Partnership, and Love: Refugees in South West London are already poised for the Lockdown to lift.  


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  • Overcoming adversity with goals: How Mohammad became merit topscorer at school

    The community sponsorship journey is always a story of how two remote paths converge, of dreams, aspirations, compassion and solidarity - and perhaps destiny - that culminate in lives intertwined, at least for a period. They often run from Syria, sometimes through Jordan or Turkey, to a town or city in the United Kingdom.

    For Mohammad Alsamadi, the story trails from Syria to Cardiff, not just the capital of Wales but the birthplace of his biggest idol, Gareth Bale. After years spent in a Jordanian refugee camp with his immediate family, Mohammad arrived in 2019. 

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  • Beyond Resettlement: How Refugee Sponsorship Transforms Communities

    When Community Sponsorship of refugees took off in Canada in 1978, it rested upon the philosophy that the collective journey of resettlement would foster vibrant communities of zestful diversity and crush the anti-migrant sentiments that had creeped up on many communities over the years. By pulling community members from the margins to the centre of the sponsorship project through fundraising and general information sharing, the sense of ownership and commitment would stifle any objections to outsiders in the neighbourhood. 

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  • Education in Resettlement: A Case Study From Cornwall

    In the resettlement of a refugee family, education plays a key role in the children's integration process. For most, school is where we develop our deepest bonds and nurture our most precious friendships. Often, it’s where we come to understand who we are. 

    In more technical terms, we perfect the conjugations of this foreign language, explore culture through daily interactions and observations and absorb the curriculum that secures a prosperous future.

    Below, Ellie Stacey shares her experience with education in resettling two refugee families in Cornwall. 


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  • published What Integration Means Under Resettlement in News 2020-04-21 09:10:28 +0100

    What Integration Means Under Resettlement

    In the small circle of civic society that is community sponsorship groups, there is a list of common denominators, of obstacles to be fought and wins to be celebrated. They include the forming of groups, the raising of funds, sending applications, securing housing, navigating benefits and a range of other tasks that are slowly but steadily being ticked off. 

    But in the months that follow the grand day of arrival at the airport where group efforts culminate, emotions peak and life seems to come together, reality knocks gently but firmly on the door and asks to be dealt with. 

    What presents itself on the other side is often much less tangible and more complex than the somewhat stringent steps required to obtain the Home Office’s approval and ultimately getting the family on the plane. 

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  • Resources To Ease Isolation For Resettled Families

    In its very essence, community hinges on personal interactions to irrigate an ever-expanding web of social networks. We meet, talk, discuss, reflect and action so that eventually, we can change the world or at least strengthen our response to it. 

    In the past few weeks, the world has changed but abruptly so, without our consent, and altered not only the way we work but fundamentally changed the way we are together. However technically inept we may feel, virtual meeting rooms are now where we will get things done for the foreseeable future. 

    Fortunately, we have witnessed an extraordinary effort from community groups to innovate and share resources, tips, tools and ideas to make life a little easier for the families they have sponsored. 

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  • published Resources in What You Can Do 2020-04-01 10:27:02 +0100




    Virtual Meeting/Chat Rooms

    Zoom - link

    Skype - link

    GoToMeeting - link

    Slack - link

    WhatsApp - link


    Digital skills

    Odils Plymouth - how to set up zoom/gmail and more in Arabic - link


    Advice on COVID-19

    Sponsor Refugees COVID-19 Contingency Planning Tool - link

    Coronavirus support for employees, benefit claimants and businesses - link

    Covid-19 Guidance in Arabic - link

    Covid-19 Guidance for Community Sponsor Groups - link

    Save The Children, How to Speak to Children About COVID-19 - link


    Mental Health

    Nirengi, Psycho-Social Support - link


    Schools & Resettlement Schemes

    Syrian Vulnerable Person Resettlement Scheme For Secondary Schools - link

    Syrian Vulnerable Person Resettlement Scheme For Primary Schools - link

    Cornwall and Refugee Resettlement - link


    Online Schooling 

    PE with Joe Wicks - link

    Maths with Carol Vorderman - link

    English with David Walliams - link

    Lunch (cooking with Jamie Oliver) - link

    Music with Myleene Klass - link

    Dance with Darcey Bussel - link

    History with Dan Snow (free for 30-days) - link

    Home Economics with Theo Michaels (Mon/Wed/Fri) - link

    Non-daily events include: Science with Professor Brian Cox, Robin Ince & Guests - link

    Geography with Steve Backshall - link

    For your older kids, here are 50 free revision resources for 11+, GCSEs and A-Levels - link

    Twinkl, Teacher-created Planning and Assessment materials and teaching resources - link


    Online Learning For Children

    Online learning - link 

    An award-winning, research-backed platform where children learn English quickly and effectively. Ages 6-12 - link

    Youtube Channels for children of different ages - link

    Learning apps for children - link

    Ruth Miskin Training, Speed Sounds lessons are for children in Nursery and Reception - link

    Home Office, Letters and Sounds Principles and Practice of High-Quality Phonics - link

    Seesaw, Online Learning - link

    ESOL links 

    Learn English at home - link

    British Council courses - link

    Additional Resources and Webinars for ESOL teachers - link


    Future Learn English Courses

    Basic English 1: Elementary (beginning in April 2020) - link

    Basic English 2: Pre-Intermediate (started but you can join now) - link

    Exploring English: Language and Culture - link

    English Pronunciation in a Global World - link

    Q&A about the website and courses - link

    Translation tool - link

    Audible Audiobooks - link


    BBC content

    BBC Learn English - Link

    For Oromo speakers - Link

    For Amharic speakers - Link

    For Mandarin speakers - Link

    For Gujarati speakers - Link

    For Marathi speakers - Link 

    For Punjabi speakers - Link

    For Korean speakers - Link

    For Telugu speakers - Link

    For Thai speakers - Link

    For Tigrinya speakers - Link

    Learner groups on Facebook - Link


    Pronunciation Lessons and Support

    Dictionary with pronunciation - link

    British Council - link

    Many Things Pronunciation Practice - link

    Perfect Pronunciation Exercises - link

    Learn Pronunciation - link 

    Interactive Phonemic Chart - link

    Regular verbs – ed in past tense - link


    Speaking practice

    English Interactive - link


    Listening practice

    British Council, ESOL - link

    BBC Learn English - link

    ESOL Courses - link

    Randall ESOL (Intermediate) - link 

    Randall ESOL (Difficult) - link 

    English Interactive Vocabulary - link

    English Interactive Listening - link

    Player FM ESOL - link

    Player FM ELT Podcast Intermediate Conversations - link


    Reading practice

    British Council ESOL Reading Classes - link

    English Interactive Reading - link

    Ronaldo wins another Golden Shoe – level 3 - link

    Boys Broken Neck Level 3 - link

    ELC Study Zone - link (Lower Intermediate Level)

    ELC Study Zone - link (Intermediate Level)

    ELC Study Zone - link (Upper Intermediate Level)



    Learn English Today - Link 

    ESL Cafe - Link

    Esl Cafe Quizzes - Link

    Many Things - Link

    English Interactive Grammar - Link

    Archive Essential Grammar - Link

    Activities for ESL/EFL Students - Link

    English Media Lab - Link

    engVid - Link



    ESOL British Council Vocabulary and Spelling - link

    English Club Writing - link

    English Zone Spelling - link

    Eslus Spelling - link 

    English Interactive Writing Practice - link

    IXL Maths & English - link


    Links for University preparation

    An Intermediate Guide to Writing in English for University Study (Just started but you can join now) - link

    University of Reading, Improve your academic English skills further - link

    A Beginner’s Guide to Writing in English for University Study - link

    Learn how to use English for study at university (writing skills, vocabulary and grammar) - link

    Understanding IELTS: Techniques for English Language Tests - link

    Future Learn British Council - link


    High-level education textbooks in a range of disciplines now free to access

    You can access a number of higher education textbooks online during the coronavirus outbreak. All 700 textbooks currently on Cambridge Core are now available in HTML format until the end of May - link 


    Exercise At Home

    Exercise at home videos - link