Corsham Sponsors Refugees

A community sponsorship group is Corsham, Wiltshire, led by the former district and town councillor, Christine Reid, have been interviewed in the local paper. 

Corsham Sponsors Refugees was set up by Christine Reid, and now many more members of the community are involved. The group has the backing of the Town Council Chairman, Ruth Hopkinson, and are now on their way to sponsoring a Syrian family to live in Corsham.

The group, however, are still looking for volunteers. If you are interested, please email them at:

To read the full article in the Gazette and Herald, click here

Photo courtesy of GP1275.


Vicky Moller on Welsh Community Sponsorships

Vicky Moller has written an interesting opinion piece for Nation Cymru critiquing way refugees are resettled in Wales.

Vicky hits on topics such as integration, cultural enrichment and the spirit of volunteers, in her thought-provoking piece. 

Read the full article here

The article was originally published on Nation Cymru on April 2nd 2018. 

To keep informed about Vicky Moller, follow her Twitter here

Photo: Vicky Moller accepting her Pioneer Award, presented by Syrian children resettled through the Community Sponsorship Scheme. 

Aberystwyth March in Solidarity and Resettle Families

On Monday 26th March, over 50 people took to the streets of Aberystwyth, Wales, to show solidarity with civilians in war-torn Syria – as the town prepared to welcome its latest refugees from the country.

The march, organised by community sponsorship group Aberaid, successfully moved politicians to increase the  numbers of families they have committed to resettle. Alun Williams, a Plaid Cymru councillor in Ceredigion told The Guardian: “A clear message was coming from the community, and that gave me a very clear lead on how to act.”

Aberaid's pioneering campaign reached national news in The Guardian

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Muswell Hill Welcomes Syrian Families

Muswell Hill Methodist Church Welcomes Syrian Families have welcomed their first families through the Community Sponsorship Scheme. 

Paul from Muswell Hill Methodist Church Welcomes Syrian Families reports on their first week in the UK. Paul describes the first tasks completed by the family, with the Job Centre, Tenancy Agreements and much more, and reports that everything has gone really well. 

In this update, Paul has explained the events that the community put on for the families, and has provided insight for how their group's first week has gone. 

To read the full update, click here to see our Facebook post. 



Australia follows the UK's lead in Community Sponsorship

The Community Sponsorship group ABIDE in Devon were interviewed by Lisa Button from Save the Children Australia, about the Community Sponsorship scheme in the UK. 

The Australian news outlet, Mamma Mia, have written an incredible article on the success of the Community Sponsorship scheme in the UK, and how it can be adapted for the Australian scheme.

Lisa Button sat down with some of the members of the Ottery Community Sponsorship group to discuss how the Community Sponsorship scheme works, and how it has changed the lives of all who have been involved.

The full article was posted on the 20th March 2018 and can be read here

To keep up to date with ABIDE in Devon, follow their Twitter here.

Merton Celebrate A Year of Community Sponsorship

Major Nick Coke with a member of the Syrian family, who have now been living in Merton for a year, speaking at their one year anniversary event. The Merton group were the first community sponsorship group in London and one of the first groups in the UK.

Sponsor Refugees' very own Bekele Woyecha was invited to the one year anniversary event, and he describes the experience of the party, and the group's community sponsorship journey, in his wonderful blogpost. 

The Merton group were supported by the Salvation Army to resettle a family into South West London, and their story has inspired many other groups, both in and out of London, to start their own community sponsorship.

Follow Nick Coke on Twitter for the latest updates here. 

For more information on the Salvation Army's involvement, read their page on Refugees here. 

Family Resettled in Ireland

The Al Sulaiman family

A Syrian family have been resettled in Wicklow, Ireland, thanks to the Wicklow Syria Appeal group.

The Wicklow Syria Appeal group have worked with Nasc, the Migrant and Refugee Rights Centre, to help resettle the Al Sulaiman family into the Wicklow community. 

The Wicklow Syria Appeal group have gained support from their local community and businesses to fund the resettlement of the Al Sulaiman. A privately rented house has been sourced in the area, for the Al Sulaiman family to move into, to start rebuilding their lives.

The Al Sulaiman family can now be reunited with the already resettled daughter and her husband, who have now been living in Cork for over a year.

A wonderful article was written about the Wicklow Syria Appeal group in the Independent.

Read more about this group and the Al Sulaiman family here.

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Community Sponsorship Groups Reach National News


A Community Sponsorship Group in Herne Hill in South London have reached national news, with an article in the Huffington Post. Another Community Sponsorship Group, Redbridge Community Sponsorship Team, have been featured in the Ilford Recorder.

Herne Hill Welcomes Refugees started up in September 2017, and had over 50 people turn up to their first meeting. Six months later, they are well on their way to getting a family over from Syria through Community Sponsorship.

Herne Hill have had support from their local MP, Helen Hayes, as well as local Arabic speakers, teachers, doctors, who are all keen to get involved and help be a part of the group. The group are currently facing the challenge of finding a house for the family at the Local Housing Allowance in South London. However, through the Housing Campaign that they are currrenly running, a landlord will hopefully make themselves known, then the group will be almost ready to send off their Communtiy Sponsorship plans to the Home Office.

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How Peckham came together for Community Sponsorship


Peckham Sponsors Refugees is the Community Sponsorship group that we are currently setting up in Peckham. We held our first meeting recently, and were pleasantly surprised to see that over one hundred people turned up.

To organise this massive public meeting, it took about six weeks of preparation. I started by reaching out to people I knew in Peckham, asking them to help me with ideas on how to broadcast the meeting to the rest of Peckham. One of our first advertisements was at Pexmas, our local Christmas market.  We were donated a small table next to the bar where we asked people to sign up and be involved. Following that event, I created a large email database of those who signed up, from which I would send out information and recruit volunteers.

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Nadine Daniel and Sean Ryan recognised in New Year's Honours


Sponsor Refugees are delighted that Nadine Daniel (pictured below) has been awarded the British Empire Medal for her services to Interfaith and Community Relations in Merseyside and that Sean Ryan (pictured left) has been awarded an MBE for his services to refugee resettlement.

Nadine Daniel is the Refugee Coordinator for the Church of England, and has helped numerous Churches around the UK start their journeys of Community Sponsorship. Her work is based in Liverpool, where she also founded the Hope+ Food Bank, before starting out her career as a Refugee Coordinator.

Sean Ryan is the Caritas National Coordinator for Community Sponsorship. He helped design the Community Sponsorship scheme and was a part of the group St Monica’s Catholic Church in Manchester that were first to welcome a Syrian refugee family to the UK through Community Sponsorship.

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From Syria to Narbeth Revisited


Earlier this summer Eye on Wales followed a group from the Pembrokeshire town of Narberth as they prepared to welcome a family of Syrian refugees to west Wales.

Croeso Arberth was one of the first in the country to help a Syrian family escape life in a refugee camp in the Middle East under the Home Office's Community Sponsorship Scheme. 

Five months on, Sarah Moore revisits Narberth to catch up with Croeso Arberth and meet the family to find out how they are settling in to their new home.

Listen here 

First broadcast on BBC Radio Wales on 3rd December 2017.


Bude refugee group granted permission to resettle second family


BUDE Refugee Support Group has announced that it has been granted permission to resettle a second family in Bude, making it the first community sponsorship group in the UK to be approved for this.

The announcement was made last week, and follows on from the charity’s successful resettlement of the first Syrian refugee family earlier in the year, having been approved by the Home Office.

Bude Refugee Support Group, which includes members of the community from a range of backgrounds and occupations, and received charity status in January 2017, is delighted to be able to welcome a second refugee family to Bude, leading the way for people in Cornwall who would like to help those in need.

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The Only Syrian Family in the Village

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I miss my family: The older Germans taking in Syrian Refugees

Guardian_Image.jpgBelow is an excerpt from the Guardian article '"I miss my family. Angelika's like an aunt.' The older Germans taking in Syrian refugees" published on 15th November 2017.

...In the UK far fewer Syrians have been accepted as refugees since 2015. In addition to conventional asylum applications – 9,944 of which were accepted last year (the majority from Iran, Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan) – the government has resettled 8,535 Syrian refugees referred directly by the UN High Commission for Refugees to the Home Office which performs eligibility, medical and security checks and then refers them on to local authorities. It has promised to welcome 20,000 Syrian refugees in this way by 2020. Supplementing this resettlement programme is a Canadian-style community sponsorship scheme, which is designed to help the public offer support to refugees through volunteering.

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ABIDE Welcomes Sponsored Syrian Family


At the end of September, Ottery St Mary welcomed a family of Syrian refugees into its midst. The family of four, who were forced to flee the violence in Syria, arrived in the UK from Jordan, where they have been living in temporary accommodation. ABIDE, a project being overseen by Ottery St Mary Parish Church, is responsible for supporting the family as they settle in to life in the Devon town. After more than a year of hard work and fund-raising, ABIDE was approved by the Home Office to accept the family through the Government’s new community sponsorship scheme for refugees. It is the first group in Devon to welcome a family under the scheme and one of only a handful that currently exists in the UK.

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