Community Sponsorship Alliance
What is community sponsorship?
Community Sponsorship is a Home Office led scheme, inaugurated in 2016, which allows community groups, under the guidance of a “lead sponsor” organisation, to carry out the resettlement of a refugee family into their community.
Proven to be a highly successful way to welcome and integrate families into communities across the UK, Community Sponsorship groups have been key to Community-led Welcome for people seeking sanctuary in the UK.
Who are the Community Sponsorship Alliance?
We are independent, grass-rooted, hands-on, strategists, researchers, experts by experience, community mobilisers, educationalists, entrepreneurs; and experienced in the Community Sponsorship way of welcome that many of us have been involved with since the birth of the scheme in 2016.
We are seven Principal (multiple) sponsor organisations who have each welcomed between 7-48 refugee families to the UK.
We are three advocates with Lived Experience of fleeing from war and resettling in the UK.
We are four Lead Sponsors from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, who have welcomed, or are about to welcome, at least 1 family in the last year.
What we do
We, ourselves, have seen the transformation that Community Sponsorship brings to the welcoming communities as much as to those who are being welcomed. Our desire is to serve and grow the Community Sponsorship movement so that more refugees are welcomed, and more communities are enriched. We are here to offer practical solutions as to how to fully realise the potential of the Community Sponsorship movement here, in the UK.
What we advocate for
Based on our own research with Community Sponsorship groups, and reviewing the research and recommendations of other organisations in the field, we identify the following principles for successful and sustainable Community Sponsorship:
A safe, humanitarian route for ‘named’ individuals and families to come, alongside the UNHCR selected route through the UKRS – and for the UNHCR route to be funded.
A community-led welcome
A true wrap-around community-led welcome, rather than an individual host.
Guided by a Lead or Principal Sponsor throughout the process.
Providing a home with its own front door, if you are in a family unit, but introducing an option of shared housing for individuals seeking safety.
Having a clear beginning and end to the sponsorship.
Use the contact details below to get in touch with us
Co-Chairs: Susannah Baker: The Pickwell Foundation & Ben Still: The Salvation Army UK and Ireland.
Members: Dave Mann: Charis refugees; Domenica Pecoraro: The Church of England; Leonie Ansems De Vries: Kings College London; Abdulrahman Bdiwi: Breaking Barriers; Khadeja Alamary: The Pickwell Foundation; Iftakhar Faizan-e-Islam: Waltham Forest Council Of Mosques; Rebekah Leviston: Edinburgh Refugee Sponsorship Circle; Tracy Hart: Citizens UK; Catherine Griffiths: Croeso Menai; Nawal Mohamed; Helen Dolk: Holywood Shared Town; Mark Wiggin: Caritas Salford Diocese.