Helping house refugees through Community Sponsorship
Our Next Meeting
The refugee project is having “Tea at 3” in St Bede’s Hall from 3 pm to 5 pm on Wednesday 4th September. Please come along to enjoy a lovely cup of tea and slice of cake to support the work that the project team are doing.
There will be another get together for the group of parishioners who expressed support for the project to help house a displaced refugee family in Basingstoke. The meeting will take place at 7 pm on 12th September at St Bede’s Church, Popley way, Basingstoke We will update you on progress and also outline some of the practical ways that you could help get ready for the family’s arrival. Hope to see you there
“…I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me…” Matthew. 25:35
In 2015 we were all shocked by the plight of the Syrian refugees fleeing their country due to war and persecution. Ordinary people like you and me suddenly found themselves, not just without a home, but also without a country to live in. Looking for safety, where their families could work, be educated and live a life with hope, they took perilous journeys over land and sea. Many are now living in camps, makeshift homes and tents. No home, no life and no country. This is where you can help by joining together with people in your parish. You can make a decision to know more about Community Sponsorship and find out how as a team of volunteers what you can do to help others .
What can you do to support your parish?
As well as finding housing, making a cake for a family would be amazing or you could do others things such as taking a family to the hospital, dentist or doctors . Maybe help with fundraising to pay for clothes, transport and other livings costs when a family first arrives in the UK, or help with form filling or even show a family where to shop or teach them some English. A little help goes along way, to help a family enjoy their new life in the UK.
What is Community Sponsorship?
How does the scheme work?
The two-year programme comprises three main elements :
Housing – Find and prepare a suitable, affordable family home
Funding – Raise a support fund to cover additional needs
Support – Plan and deliver a programme of resettlement support
After security screening, medical checks and initial preparation about life in the UK, sponsored families arrive with full refugee status and the right to work, school places, free healthcare, English tuition (ESOL) and State benefits. The scheme is inspired by a Canadian model which has successfully resettled around 300,000 refugees since it began in 1978.
How is it effective?
• Frequent and intensive support by a committed group of volunteers
• Families benefit from the rich social capital of a whole community
• Strong bonds of friendship, mutual understanding and empathy
• Shared motivation and commitment to successful resettlement
” The community sponsorship scheme personalises a huge, human drama, by enabling local communities to welcome and support refugees in a real and tangible way. This scheme opens a path for people to respond with compassion, providing welcome and integration, and should be taken up as widely as possible.” Cardinal Vincent Nichols
Get in touch
The Diocese is committed to Community Sponsorship.
Further information is available from the Parish Office on 01256 577007 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Briefing seminar in St Bede’s Hall at 7.00pm on Wednesday 5th June.
If you would like to get involved and were not at the meeting, please email your contact details to caritas_NWHPA@portsmouthdiocese.org.uk to be added to our database of contacts. There is an update meeting being arranged for early September.
Tell a friend
The success of Community Sponsorship depends on the inclusion of lots of different people so do step outside of your parish and tell everyone about this project – there will be many people who will be thinking ‘what can I do?’ so please let them know.
A message from Bishop Philip
“One of the greatest tragedies of our times is the refugee crisis . Pope Francis has often addressed this complex but distressing matter, ever calling us to see beyond the politics and the stereotypes to suffering human beings in desperate need . He has asked us to open our homes, our communities, and our churches in order to accommodate refugees, and so I want to encourage community groups within our Diocese to consider sponsoring a refugee family in their parish . Let everyone see that our Diocese of Portsmouth has opened its doors in Christian love to people from some of the most troubled places on earth, in particular from Syria . Through these actions, we will witness to the love of Jesus working through His Church and to our profound respect for every human person”.