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Community Sponsorship Alliance

Community Sponsorship Alliance
Community Sponsorship

A Christmas message from the CSA

This is a little ‘Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year’ message from us, the Community Sponsorship Alliance – UK, sharing a little about what we’ve been up to over the past year.

As a national organisation, we are striving to bring a unified voice for Community welcome, in its broadest form, weaving together the diverse narratives and experiences from across the United Kingdom, and share this learning with decision makers.

This year we were invited to deliver a paper to DLUHC (The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities) on how we would respond to the UK’s need to resettle Afghan people who are sheltering in Pakistan and waiting for sanctuary here. We used this as an opportunity to outline our ideas for longer term resettlement for all people arriving on our shores. If you would like a copy of the document, then do email us and we will happily send that out to you.

As a result, we were invited, along with RESET and Citizens UK, to take part in co-designing a new Scheme ‘Communities for Afghans’, which is about to get underway as a pilot. We are excited about the possibilities of this scheme and we hope to be able to share more details soon.

In September we held a brilliant event in the House of Commons to share our aspirations of the future of Resettlement. Led by Abdulrahman Bdiwi, Khadeja Alamary and Nawal Mohamed, all members of the CSA, we shared the room with 11 MP’s and Lords (including the legendary Lord Alf Dubs) and 40 representatives from all across the resettlement sector. The reception was great and we really enjoyed seeing everyone holding the sign that they support ‘safe routes, to safe homes in safe communities’.

Since September we have met with MP’s from both Labour and Conservative parties and others who are highly influential in driving the narrative for a more compassionate response for refugees.

We have high hopes for community welcome in the coming year, and we hope to be able to meet many of you in person as we work towards new ways of bringing together the diverse members of the community welcome family over the next year. Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming opportunities to be involved!

Finally, we wish you, your families, and your communities a very happy and peaceful New Year!

For more info, do email us at

Community Sponsorship
Safe routes, to safe homes, in safe communities for people seeking sanctuary

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 Process

Guided by a Lead or Principal Sponsor throughout the process.

Suitable Homes

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.

Clear Goals

Having a clear beginning and end to the sponsorship.

Community Sponsorship

Our Members


Use the contact details below to get in touch with us

Current Membership

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.

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