The Home Office has recently awarded £1 million to a scheme which allows individuals and groups across the United Kingdom to offer housing and other support to refugees.
Reset is a charity – funded by both the British government and philanthropic donations – which helps communities and individuals who have taken refugees into their homes under the governments community refugee sponsorship scheme. They’ll use these funds to train and support people who are doing their part to help with the humanitarian crisis, caused by the Syrian civil war, by inviting refugees to live in their homes.
The scheme began back in 2015, around the time that a moral panic over the safety of Syrian refugees, sparked by a harrowing image of a dead baby on a beach, occurred. An outpouring of heightened emotion and concern followed, people of all walks of life scrambled to do anything to help. The Archbishop of Canterbury pledged to take refugees in; pop singer Bob Geldof said he would open his doors; a journalist from the Guardian took a refugee in and wrote about it.
Richard Harrington, the then-Minister for Syrian Refugees, said he foresaw a future in which “every Syrian family that comes to the UK would have a British family that they would be loosely tied to … It might involve a welcome lunch and maybe eventually an offer of a job and things like that. It is a case of finding ways to use people’s good nature”. And with these funds (with more expected to come too) being released, it seems that Harrington’s wishes are slowly coming to fruition.
Caroline Nokes, Immigration Minister
“The community sponsorship scheme shows that we can all play a part in, and benefit from, supporting vulnerable refugees,” Caroline Nokes, Immigration Minister, says. “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.”
“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,” Chris Clements, Director of Reset, added.
The community sponsorship scheme has already resettled 138 refugees who were welcomed by 24 amazing community sponsor groups – some even took in more than one refugee family. The groups not only provide a home but assist with the integration of the refugees by arranging English tuition, help with employability, access to social services and access to medical services. More groups are expected to join the scheme in the coming weeks.
If you want to help Syrian refugees, you can raise awareness by sharing articles like this or by donating to charities like Syria Relief.