COMMUNITY SPONSORSHIP PROCESS
Community Sponsorship groups require Home Office approval. Before we make our application we need to meet certain criteria and show that we have the skills and resources to support a newly resettled refugee family. Here is an outline of the application process:
FORM A CORE GROUP
The Core Group are responsible for putting together the application and planning for the arrival of the family. We have a group of nine individuals, all with experience of working with refugees and we are now working hard to submit our application.
RAISE AT LEAST £9,000
We are required to have at least £9,000 in the bank to show we have resources to support the family if needed. The family will be given automatic leave to remain and access to services including benefits. However, this takes time to set up. We will also need to help support the family each month until they learn English and can start working.
PLAN FOR FAMILY ARRIVAL
Our re-settlement plan needs to include details of the following:
How we will welcome a family and support them when they first arrive
Translation services until the family learn English
Registering children in school and parents in College
English language and education support
Assistance with accessing benefits and, further down the line, employment.
Health, education and spiritual support
FIND A PROPERTY
We need to find a suitable family property to rent in Epsom & Ewell, ideally with 3 or 4 bedrooms. The property must be available for at least 2 years. We are interested in talking to any landlords in the area so please spread the word! A market rent is offered for the property so it's a great way to help others whilst also getting your monthly rent.
From our experience all the families we support really take pride in keeping their properties clean and tidy so this is a great proposition for a landlord. We have experienced landlords in our Core Group if you would like to find out more.
BE A REGISTERED CHARITY
Epsom Community Sponsorship is officially registered with the Charity Commission, we have our charity number and can now open a bank account and get started with our fundraising.
To proceed as a group we needed to get approval from Epsom & Ewell Borough Council, Surrey County Council and then the Home Office. After lots of meetings, paperwork and discussions we now have approval from all three. Our approval from the Home Office is pre-approval subject to us finding a suitable property.
APPLY TO THE HOME OFFICE
Once we have received approval from Epsom & Ewell Borough Council and Surrey County Council, written our settlement plan and completed all our policies and procedures, we will submit our application to the Home Office.
From our experience, once we reach this stage things can move quite quickly. The Home Office may have some questions and will want to meet the core group. Once the group is approved we can start seriously searching for a suitable property.
We need volunteers to help support the family in a number of ways, such as translating, providing English support, befriending and helping the family with day-to-day tasks like transport and appointments.
Please get in touch if you want to volunteer with us and we can discuss this further with you.