The first, and most important, is a strong, shared commitment to welcome refugees into your community and to help them to build a new life alongside you. Sponsorship is a voluntary activity not a full or part-time job, but it is not something you can take on (or drop) lightly.
Members of your group should ideally be able to commit a few hours every week to preparing to welcome a family. It takes about 12 months from the point of forming a group to welcoming a family (although this time is gradually reducing as more groups take part, and can share their advice and resources).
During this time you need to:
- build a strong group
- write safeguarding and complaints policies
- receive consent from your Local Authority
- identify local services and plan how you will support the family to resettle
- submit an application to the Home Office
- raise £9,000
- find and furnish a home, to rent for minimum of 2 years.
You'll then be providing at least 12 months of active support for the refugee family when they arrive.
See Steps to Sponsoring a Refugee Family