The funding, which was announced by the Home Office in July 2017, will be used by the civil society organisation Reset to provide training and support to help communities across the UK who want to welcome and integrate refugees through the community sponsorship resettlement initiative.
The intention is that this will help encourage more groups to come forward to take part in the scheme.
Reset is a new organisation, funded by the Home Office and philanthropic foundations, which mobilises the skills and resources of communities, faith groups, businesses and charities who want to support refugees affected by the Syrian crisis, as they rebuild their lives in the UK.
Community sponsorship was launched in 2016 and has already helped resettle 138 refugees who have been welcomed by 24 community sponsor groups across the UK, some of whom have sponsored more than one refugee family.
Community sponsorship groups including charities, faith groups and churches are taking part across the UK – from Cornwall to London, Manchester and Pembrokeshire in Wales.
The sponsors provide housing for the refugee families, as well as:
- helping them to integrate into life in the UK and access medical and social services
- arranging English language tuition
- supporting them towards employment and self-sufficiency
Many local authorities have also gone the extra mile in supporting their local community groups to get involved, with some great examples of partnership working.
Immigration Minister, Caroline Nokes said:
The community sponsorship scheme shows that we can all play a part in, and benefit from, supporting vulnerable refugees. The success we have had so far would not have been possible were it not for the dedication, hard work and compassion displayed by community sponsors.
We want the scheme to go from strength to strength and I am confident that Reset will help us do just that. We hope that more communities will get involved in this rewarding scheme.
Chris Clements, Director of Reset said:
As we formally launch Reset, we’re really excited by the huge potential there is to increase the number of refugee families receiving high quality support through community sponsorship.
By building on the existing goodwill and compassion of people across the country, we are encouraging communities to come together to welcome, support and help refugee families as they rebuild their lives in the UK.
Working with our regional partners across the UK, we’ll be providing routes to get involved with sponsorship, and resources and training for groups, organisations and individuals as we work together to offer practical solutions to the Syrian refugee crisis.
Community sponsorship is just one way that the UK government is helping to support refugees. The government remains on track to meet its commitment of resettling up to 23,000 of the most vulnerable refugees through the vulnerable person and children’s resettlement schemes by 2020.
Over 11,600 vulnerable refugees had been resettled as of March this year.
The UK has also now committed £2.71 billion since 2012 to meet the immediate needs of vulnerable people in Syria and of refugees in the region. This is the UK’s largest ever response to a single humanitarian crisis.