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.
Kimie Frengler published On resettlement flights: A letter to Chris Philp in News 2020-09-17 15:22:43 +0100
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.
Kimie Frengler published Rehoming Syrian refugees in Oxford – how to get involved in News 2020-08-13 14:42:53 +0100
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!
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.
Kimie Frengler published Wanstead volunteers raise enough money to sponsor refugee family in News 2020-07-30 10:04:23 +0100
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.”
Kimie Frengler published From Northern Lebanon to North West London - how a Syrian family embraced Hampstead wholeheartedly in News 2020-06-02 14:58:15 +0100
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.
Kimie Frengler published Sponsor Refugees and Activities for Refugee Week in News 2020-05-29 11:46:36 +0100
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.Read more
Kimie Frengler published Exciting news about Sponsor Refugees from Citizens UK in News 2020-05-26 14:35:22 +0100
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.
Kimie Frengler published Overcoming adversity with goals: How Mohammad became merit topscorer in News 2020-05-22 09:57:49 +0100
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.Read more
Kimie Frengler published Beyond Resettlement: How Refugee Sponsorship Transforms Communities in News 2020-05-13 16:29:26 +0100
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.Read more
Kimie Frengler published Education in Resettlement: A Case Study From Cornwall in News 2020-05-06 09:37:00 +0100
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.
Kimie Frengler published What Integration Means Under Resettlement in News 2020-04-21 09:10:28 +0100
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.Read more
Kimie Frengler published Resources To Ease Isolation For Resettled Families in News 2020-04-01 11:44:47 +0100
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.Read more
LIST OF RESOURCES
Virtual Meeting/Chat Rooms
Zoom - link
Skype - link
GoToMeeting - link
Slack - link
WhatsApp - link
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
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
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
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 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
English Interactive - link
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
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
To Our Community Sponsors,
At this time of unprecedented upheaval, we hope that you, your Sponsor Group, and your resettled family are all keeping safe and well.
While times may be tough and challenging, they also present a unique opportunity to show kindness, compassion and determination. So we want to let you know that we are here to help you when needed.
To ensure a pragmatic approach to this highly complex situation, we will guide you through the most important steps of the sponsorship journey and how to best weather the storm in each of them.
On the 28th of January 2020, Louth Welcomes Refugees welcomed a family who had traveled all the way from Jordan to Birmingham. Despite slight grogginess, tired eyes and the occasional yawn, the excitement was obvious and the family has had a phenomenal start to life in the UK.
West End Welcomes joined the January high when the group welcomed a family to central London for the first time. Just a few weeks later, Haddenham Syrian Family Project had the pleasure of welcoming a family to Buckinghamshire. A great start to the year indeed!
In many ways, the day the family arrives at the airport is the ultimate high point of the journey of Community Sponsorship. For some groups, the thrill of meeting the family and watching them embrace life in the UK is so immense, they embark on yet another round of Sponsorship.Read more