What Is Community Sponsorship?

Community Sponsorship gives power to local volunteer groups to resettle a refugee family in their neighbourhood.  It is a big commitment, but hugely rewarding – and Sponsor Refugees is here to help every step of the way.

Groups need to:

  • Find and furnish an affordable home for a refugee family for a period of 2 years
  • Raise at least £9,000 (to cover various costs like translation, furnishing the house, and English classes)
  • Welcome the family at the airport and settle them in their new community (helping them register for benefits, access health services and enroll children in schools)
  • Provide support and encouragement to the family for one year so that they can live securely and independently


The scheme was launched by the British government in July 2016, at the height of the refugee crisis, in response to growing pressure from civil society. It was inspired by the successful Canadian private sponsorship model, which has seen over 300,000 refugees resettled since 1979.


What are the benefits of Community Sponsorship?

Community Sponsorship transforms the lives of both the family and volunteers. Find out what groups and families have said. 

  • It Is a practical way for local people to respond to the global refugee crisis
  • It provides a safe and legal route for refugees to come to the UK
  • It makes maximum use of the capacity, commitment and networks of citizens to help refugees
  • It improves the chances of refugees to settle in, learn English and find work
  • It strengthens community bonds
  • It sends a strong message that refugees are welcome in the UK


Who can sponsor a family?

Everyone! There are more than 150 Community Sponsorship groups across the UK. Some are long-established groups, such as faith institutions, colleges or workplaces. Others began as a group of friends with a common interest. Some are groups of neighbours who had never met before but came together through their shared desire to transform the life of a vulnerable refugee family.


Who can be sponsored?

Click here to see the criteria of who can be resettled to the UK through community sponsorship


Sounds great! How do I get started?

We recommend you start by watching our videos, reading our FAQsand this handbook, to get a better understanding of what is involved. 

Then contact us, and we will guide you through the process: communitysponsorship@citizensuk.org.



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