Full sponsorship of a refugee family is a major commitment and not everyone can take it on. But you and your group could still play a vital role in helping to sponsor refugees. Here are some of the things you could do.
Refugee Welcome Groups
If you and your neighbours and colleagues feel sponsoring a refugee family is a step too far, but you want to do something to help refugees in your area, you could either join an existing refugee welcome group or form one in your area. These groups, supported by Citizens UK, work to support refugees who come through the government VPRS programme LINK and who are the responsibility of their local authority. To find out about Refugee Welcome groups go here.
Finding a suitable home for sponsored refugees is often a challenge for sponsoring groups. One of the biggest things people can do to help is to offer properties they may own or manage to sponsoring groups so that a refugee family has a warm and comfortable place to live. If you are social or private landlord who wants to help transform the lives of refugees there are a few factors to bear in mind:
- It needs to be a home with its own front door. It cannot be an offer of rooms in your own home. If that’s what you are able to do we suggest you contact either NACCOM or REFUGEE HOME
- The home must be in a good condition with all the usual amenities
- The home would ideally be suitable for a family, and if it can house bigger families all the better
- It needs to be available at an affordable rent, ideally within the LHA limit so that housing benefit can cover all or most of the rent.
- The home needs to be available on a secure lease for a minimum of two years
If you can help to provide a home to a refugee family given the above, please complete this form. We will see if there is a group looking to sponsor refugees in your area and if so, put you in touch with them.
Interpreters and ESOL teachers
People who can act as interpreters or are qualified to teach English as a second language are vital for groups sponsoring refugee families. Sometimes groups have within them members who have these skills, or they can find them through networks within their community. But it isn’t always obvious how to find interpreters and ESOL teachers, even if they live nearby.
Sponsor Refugees is here to help through linking up dual English/Arabic speakers and ESOL teachers with sponsoring groups. If you have these language skills, please contact us [email protected]. Register form for Interpreters and ESOL teachers. We will see if there is a group looking to sponsor refugees in your area and if so, put you in touch with them.
Furniture and other essentials
Refugee families resettling in the UK through community sponsorship receive state benefits and have a package of support, so they are not destitute. But their sponsoring group may need help with things like furniture and electrical goods, winter clothes, and games and toys for the children.
If you have items like these, in good condition, that you wish to give away, or if you can buy such items to go to a sponsored refugee family, please contact us [email protected]. We will see if there is a group looking to sponsor refugees in your area and if so, put you in touch with them.
Sponsor a sponsoring group
Groups sponsoring refugees need to raise thousands of pounds. In some cases, doing that can be difficult, particularly for groups in relatively poor communities. It may be that you cannot make the commitment to sponsor a refugee family yourself, perhaps because you have a busy professional life, but that you would like to support a sponsoring group through donating to their fundraising efforts.
This is best done, we believe, through forging a close link to the sponsoring group, preferably one that is relatively nearby to where you live or work.
Sponsor Refugees can help broker a link between you and a group in need of funds. Whether you are a business, or group of some sort, or a concerned individual who wants to help by giving money please contact us [email protected].
Alternatively, you can support community sponsorship by supporting the work of Sponsor Refugees. Your donations will help us to help sponsoring groups welcome and support refugee families across Britain.