Community Sponsorship enables communities to play an active role in welcoming refugees. Community Sponsorship is carried out by a core Community Sponsor Group – for example, neighbours, friends, colleagues, or members of a local sports club – who organise to provide both financial and in-kind support as well as social, orientation and administrative support as needed to refugees resettled in the local community.
- Sourcing accommodation for a period of 24 months for a resettled family or individuals
- Providing supports as needed for a minimum period of 18 months
- Fundraising a certain amount in advance of the arrival of the resettled family or individuals
- Language, healthcare, educational and other orientation supports along the way
Community Sponsor Groups are supported in this process by a Regional Support Organisation, like Nasc, which helps the group to apply to become a Community Sponsor Group and to develop the Group's settlement plan. Regional Support Organisations provide Community Groups with training and support throughout the entire process, and we prioritise safeguarding and adequate preparation throughout the process. The ultimate focus is on promoting independence, agency and social inclusion for the Community Sponsor Groups and for the refugee families when they arrive.
Community Sponsorship takes hard work, imagination and above all commitment, but we have also seen first hand how enriching and rewarding it can be for both communities and refugees in equal measure. It also provides a way for communities to be part of the response to the ongoing refugee crisis in a real and life changing way.
Information about the Programme and how to apply can also be found on the Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration's website.
If you are interested in finding out how your local community can sponsor a refugee family, please contact Nasc's Community Sponsorship Project Worker Maria Bateson at firstname.lastname@example.org.