Sponsor Refugees, with its close link to Citizens UK, draws on decades of community organising expertise.
What is Community Organising?
It is based on the principle that when people work together they have the power to change their neighbourhoods, their cities, towns and villages, and ultimately the country for the better. It starts with listening to what people in a community want to do. These citizens then take the lead in developing plans to achieve the change they want to see. That includes identifying who has the power to make the change in their area, and then getting a seat at the negotiating table with these people.
Community Organising principles can be usefully applied to Community Sponsorship in a number of ways
- Sponsorship starts with groups of citizens deciding to welcome and support a refugee family in their neighbourhood. It gives citizens a power that until now has been the preserve of government and local authorities
- To be successful in sponsorship, a strong group, with a shared purpose, has to be established and to work together over a period of many months.
- A sponsoring group draws up its own plans and implements them in their own way. But to become a sponsor, a group of citizens has to interact and negotiate with the Home Office and its local council