LISTEN: BBC Radio 4 Sunday Programme - Catholic church welcomes Syrian family

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Kevin Bouquet has been to meet a family of Syrian refugees who are being looked after by the Catholic Charity Caritas and their new community in Flixton.

Listen here (36 minutes in).

Birmingham City Council pledges to support the community sponsorship of Syrian refugees.

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Councillor Waseem Zaffar announced at the national refugee summit in Birmingham that Birmingham City Council will support the community sponsorship of Syrian refugees.

The Methodist Network, led by Rev David Butterworth, will offer to sponsor a family of four – with the support of Birmingham City Council and the Home Office – as part of the council leader’s commitment to welcome 500 refugees over the next five years.

Read more here.

Refugees Deeply - Why Britain decided to partially privatise refugee resettlement

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Britain has agreed to private sponsorship of refugees. Tim Finch, one of the architects of the breakthrough, tells Refugees Deeply why it can help countries successfully expand resettlement programs.

YOU COULD BE forgiven for missing the British government’s recent announcement of the “full community sponsorship scheme.” It was not accompanied by much media fanfare. The coverage it did receive tended to focus on the hosting of a Syrian refugee family by the Archbishop of Canterbury at his Lambeth Palace residence.

In reality, the acceptance of private sponsorship of refugees marked the success of a committed campaign to persuade the British government to follow Canada’s lead and allow private groups to shoulder most of the costs and responsibility for resettling refugees.

Read more here.

Syrian refugees to be housed by Archbishop of Canterbury in Lambeth Palace grounds in 'community sponsorship' scheme

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Syrian refugees are being housed by the Archbishop of Canterbury in the grounds of his Lambeth Palace home.

The family are living in a cottage at Justin Welby's official London residence after the Church agreed to house them and fund some of the initial costs of their new life in Britain.

The Archbishop and his staff will help the refugees learn English, teach them about the area, and offer advice on how to use public transport and register at a Job Centre.

Read more

Citizens UK - Full Community Sponsorship of refugees launched in the UK: first refugees expected to arrive within weeks

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Following extensive consultation with the National Refugee Welcome Board and Citizens UK, the Home Office has today (19 July) launched Full Community Sponsorship for refugees. With the launch of the brand new scheme (modelled on a similar, hugely successful, programme in Canada) community groups will be given the opportunity to personally welcome and support refugees arriving in the UK. 

Full Community Sponsorship gives community groups, including churches, synagogues and mosques, an opportunity to get involved in helping refugees through taking the lead responsibility for their resettlement and integration in a community.  The sponsoring groups raise money to help support refugees and are obliged to demonstrate to the Home Office that they are capable of providing the welcome and practical help needed.

Read more

Sunday Times - Geldof and Cole in register to sponsor refugees

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Religious leaders and celebrities including the model Lily Cole and the singer turned activist Bob Geldof have joined a campaign to put pressure on the government to allow people privately to sponsor Syrian refugees, writes Hannah Summers.

 

 

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VIDEO: Jewish Chronicle - Jewish groups join call for sponsorship scheme for Syrian refugees

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Jewish leaders have offered to sponsor Syrian refugees to allow them to settle in the UK.

Reform Judaism, Liberal Judaism and Masorti joined an interfaith initiative urging the government to establish a private sponsorship scheme for refugees, similar to that which brought children fleeing the Nazis to Britain in the Kindertransport.

Rabbi Danny Rich, Senior Rabbi of Liberal Judaism, said: “Thousands of our community, and their families, are alive due to the private sponsorship scheme put in place in the lead up to the Second World War.

Read more

Left Foot Forward - Community sponsorship: the silver lining to Theresa May’s speech?

Theresa May’s speech on immigration yesterday has won her few plaudits, even from parts of her own party and from normally sympathetic newspapers. Her critique of the economic and social impacts of migration was remarkably one-sided – there was little mention of the considerable evidence of immigration’s positive contribution to bringing down the deficit, staffing the NHS, and enriching Britain’s society and culture.

But underneath the resolutely gloomy tone on the impacts of migration to the UK was a potentially promising development on asylum policy. May acknowledged the changing nature of the debate around refugees over the summer and aspired to “increase the number of people we help in the most troubled regions”.

Read more here.

Spectator - Big Society could offer a solution to the refugee crisis

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At first the government was slow to react to the refugee crisis, but now things are starting to happen. It’s less than two weeks since David Cameron said Britain would take in an extra 20,000 Syrian refugees, but this week Theresa May promised that the first of them will be arriving ‘in the coming days’. Given the logistics of resettlement, this turn of speed is impressive.

But if the pace of the response has picked up, the scale of it still remains disappointing. Having ruled out taking in any refugees who’ve already reached Europe, even as an emergency measure, the government really should look to increase the number it’s prepared to take through resettlement from camps in the region. So here’s an idea that would allow for that which should appeal to David Cameron.

Read more here.