Llantwit Major's successful fundraising

A group in Llantwit Major, called Croeso Llantwit, have raised around £1000 in their book sale fundraising event.

The event was publicised in the local press, The Llantwit Major GEM, social media and on their blog.

This event has helped the group start their Community Sponsorship to sponsor a Syrian family to resettle in Llantwit Major. 

To read the article in The LLantwit Major GEM, click here

To follow Croeso Llantwit's journery, click here

To read their blog, click here

Well done Croeso Llantwit on the success of the event!

Whitechapel form a Community Sponsorship group

Sponsor Refugees' home, Citizens UK in Whitechapel, have formed their own group, Whitechapel Welcomes. The group, formed of the Citizens UK staff and members of the Whitechapel and Tower Hamlets community, have officially launched.

Andy May from the group has been interviewed in the local press, The Docklands and East London Advertiser.

The article celebrates the success of the preliminary meetings, and highlights that the group have raised almost 80% of their £9000 target. 

To read the full article, click here

To follow Whitechapel Welcomes on Twitter, click here

Northern Ireland's first Community Sponsorship Group

A community sponsorship group in Whitehead, Ireland have formed, and have already started fundraising, following their successful meeting. 

Whitehead Small World Group held a public meeting on the 19th April 2018, where they discussed the possibility of rehoming a Syrian refugee family in the town in Northern Ireland. 

Paul Heyes, the man who has organised this group described the night in a cheerful and hopeful Facebook post. 

"The best estimate from the Centre Manager was that over 120 people showed up. The overwhelming majority of people who attended were positive and supportive of our plan to resettle one Syrian family into our Whitehead community." 

Read more

Group reach National News

A community sponsorship group in Wales have reached national news in an article on BBC News. 

Croeso Teifi, with Vicky Moller as a member, are leading the way for other community sponsorship groups. 

The resettled Syrian family are learning Welsh as well as English, as the two children are attending a local school. The family seem to have settled in incredibly well, which was helped by the welcoming spirit of the local community. 

Read the full article here. Like their Facebook page here

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: [email protected]

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

Photo courtesy of www.gphillipsphotography.com 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

Read more

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.