Preparing A Budget

Money isn’t everything, but it is an important factor in sponsorship. To become a community sponsor you will have to have adequate financial resources, to be able to show that to the Home Office, and to have drawn up a budget,

You must have or you must raise £4,500 per adult refugee, for a start. This sum is stipulated as much to demonstrate that you a serious group, making a serious commitment, as it is to support the refugee family. For that reason, you will have to ring fence that money for the purposes of sponsorship, and only spend it for that purpose.

How much you will actually have to spend supporting your family depends on the extent they need help over and above the state benefits they receive. Here are some helpful tools:

Government's guide to benefits for refugees.

Turn2Us Benefits Calculator.

Money Advice Service Budget Planner.

These are some of the things you may need to cover: 

  • Providing cash for family to tide them over until they get their benefits
  • Topping up the rent (if housing benefit doesn’t cover it)
  • Paying for interpreters
  • Paying for English classes
  • Furnishing the house
  • Travel costs
  • Various extras

You will also want to ensure that you keep some money back in case something comes up that is unexpected. 

On the other hand, you may find that your refugee family are supporting themselves just fine well before the sponsorship period ends. The key to this happening is the adults in the family finding work – with your help.  

While financial matters will concern everyone in the sponsoring group to some extent, you should have someone – with appropriate skills – designated as a Chief Financial Officer.  That is likely to be someone who has professional experience of managing accounts and preparing budgets, or someone who has been a treasurer for a charity before.