Creating a Core Group
You have decided to get started on Community Sponsorship of a refugee family.
Good for you! You have taken the first step.
But before you plunge into other activities, it is essential that you create a core group of early leaders.
Successful Community Sponsorship groups have often been started by just two or three people. It is not the number but committed leadership that is most important.
Attached- Guide To Building an Effective Group
Engaging with the Community
As the name implies, a Community Sponsorship group should involve a number of people from the local area. The group should be part of wider community life and not a private project. Ideally, the group should be as diverse as possible. So we strongly recommend that you reach out and bring in people from your community.
It may be that you are already part of an existing group, such as a church congregation or members of a mosque. This will give you access to a number of people with whom you already have a relationship and with whom you share certain values. That is a great help, but even in these situations engaging with the wider community is important.
You should start your community engagement by drawing up a list of people who you think might be interested in Community Sponsorship and who could help you build your group and see the project through.
For example: Mrs Smith, who makes the tea at church and knows everyone in the local community. The Imam of your local mosque. The support worker of a Refugee charity. A City of Sanctuary rep. etc.
Next step is to arrange 1:1 meetings with these people to explain your plans and enlist their help.
Attached - 10 Tips For a 1:1 Meeting
The people you engage with may not themselves end up being active in your Community Sponsorship group, but they can help you to engage people who will be and can help you in other ways.
We also recommend that you host a public meeting to gauge who is 'out there' locally who you don't already know and who shares your interest in sponsoring a refugee family. This is covered in the next section.
Explaining Community Sponsorship
When you reach out to people, it will help to send some information about the scheme, and some inspiring stories.
Here are some useful links that you can include:
Stories of Community Sponsorship: https://www.unhcr.org/uk/community-sponsorship.html
Community Sponsorship 101: https://bit.ly/Community_Sponsorship_101
Sponsor Refugees Website: https://www.sponsorrefugees.org/
Attend Reset Training Part One
Before you welcome a family, you are required to attend two workshops with our partners Reset. The first workshop is delivered as a one-hour webinar. You will complete the second workshop once you have been approved by the Home Office.
Here’s some things to know about the first part of the required training:
- Part 1 sessions are delivered as a one-hour webinar on Zoom.
- Click here for upcoming training dates schedule and registration links
- This session is for core Group members (these are the people who lead the teams or areas of work on your application)
- This training should be received in the early stages of your planning and before you have submitted an application to the Home Office.
- This session includes information about the refugee resettlement process, planning your support to a refugee family, engaging local stakeholders and navigating the application process