Community sponsorship enables community groups, which must be either a registered charity or community interest company, to become directly involved in supporting the resettlement of refugees fleeing conflict and in need of protection in the UK.
If you wish to become a community sponsor you must have the consent of the local authority in which you wish to operate, and a comprehensive plan for resettlement in order to apply for the scheme. Once consent is given you can then apply to the Home Office to become a community sponsor.
The Home Office will consider all offers of sponsorship and check that you have the agreement of the relevant local authority. If your application is approved you will be allocated a family, which will be considered jointly with the local authority. The resettled family typically arrives six weeks after allocation is agreed.
Community sponsors will have a huge responsibility in taking on a family fleeing conflict and you must ensure that your organisation is prepared for the commitment that will be needed. Some of the responsibilities will include:
- providing a house for the family for at least 2 years
- securing at least £9,000 in funding to support the family
- meeting the family at the airport and providing transport for the family and their belongings
- providing a warm welcome and cultural orientation
- supporting access to medical and social services
- providing English language tuition
- supporting towards employment and self-sufficiency.
All resettled refugees arriving in the UK will have been through a thorough security vetting process.
If you wish to find out more information about becoming a community sponsor see the Government guidance on applying for full community sponsorship (external link). This web page provides guidance documents from the Home Office for prospective sponsors along with the application for approval as a full community sponsor, a resettlement plan template and a sample agreement between the Secretary of State for the Home Department and the community sponsor.
If you wish to discuss becoming a community sponsor in the Cheshire East local authority area contact the Refugee Team