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Community Sponsorship Awards 2018 launched

The nominations are now officially open for our Community Sponsorship Awards 2018 in partnership with IOHR

The Migrants' Mass has been taking place annually since 2006 and aims to highlighting the plight of refugees and migrants around the world. The Mass is jointly organised by Citizens UK, the Dioceses of Southwark, Westminster and Brentwood and brings together 43 Ethnic Chaplaincies. This year Community Sponsorship was the focus in the Mass, which took place at St George's Cathedral, Southwark.

It is a scheme that brings communities together in the collective aim of bringing home a refugee family to live in their community. To be allowed to resettle a refugee family the groups work hard on creating resettlement plans, safeguarding, language provisions as well as local authority and Home Office approval to integrate a refugee family in their area.

Now in its second year, Sponsor Refugees want to celebrate and honour all Community Sponsorship groups that have worked tirelessly to make this scheme a reality. The awards will recognise their efforts, as well as the support of local authorities, individual volunteers, newcomers and sponsorship champions. It was a great pleasure to see Sean Ryan MBE, Caritas Diocese Salford and Samir Hamyeh, a Sponsor Refugee Ambassador and part of the first family arriving via Community Sponsorship, at today's Migrants' Mass, where they launched the nominations for our Community Sponsorship Awards 2018. The awards ceremony will take place in London on the 2nd of October.

Samir revealed how his life had changed 180 degrees and how the St Monica Community Sponsorship group had shown him good life, good people and he wants to "pray to give me the power to help other people in need." Sean quoted Tony Longfella Walsh "We make you at home, we make you feel welcome, we make summat happen, and we can't seem to help it. And if you're looking for history we've got a wealth, but we'll always say 'make it yourself.'" To make things happen, to turn lives around and give people a home is at the heart of community sponsorship.

There are seven categories for this year's awards and we invite you to nominate for the following categories:

Community Sponsorship Group of the Year nominate any group around the UK who you think have done a fantastic job on community sponsorship of refugees.

Volunteer of the Year nominate an individual whose efforts and work embodies the spirit of community sponsorship.

Local Authority of the Year nominate a local authority which has been supportive of the community sponsorship scheme.

New Community Sponsorship Group of the Year nominate a new group among community sponsorship to recognise the groups who have not yet or just recently received their refugee family.

Newcomer of the Year nominate a refugee (individual or family) who have arrived via community sponsorship in the UK and you think should receive an award.

Sponsorship Champion of the Year nominate anyone who has been supportive of community sponsorship, this could be a journalist, a project, a politician as long as their work has supported community sponsorship.

Judges Special Award our Judges Special Award will not be open to public nominations, this award could go to various recipients as long as it involves community sponsorship. This award will be decided on by the judges.

To nominate go to LINK NO LONGER AVAILABLE enter the group or person you wish to nominate as well as your reason for nominating them. Please note that these awards are for those involved in Community Sponsorship resettlement and not resettlement by councils. The nominations are open until 2nd of July, the judges will then deliberate and the winners will be revealed in our awards ceremony on the 2nd of October in London. For more information on Community Sponsorship visit or contact [email protected]

Posted on 7 May, 2018