Our response to the Home Secretary’s announcement of Community Sponsorship scheme to support Syrian refugees

Last updated July 19, 2016Press release

Today (19th July), the new Home Secretary, Amber Rudd has made her first public statement on refugees since taking up the role.

Alongside the Archbishop of Canterbury, Amber Rudd announced the launch of a new community sponsorship scheme for Syrian refugees coming to the UK.

In response, Refugee Action’s Chief Executive Stephen Hale said:

“Inspirational volunteers around the country are already at the heart of many communities welcoming refugees to the UK and helping them to rebuild their lives. Drawing on over 30 years’ experience of resettlement with volunteers central to our work, we know that their involvement is vital from providing a warm friendly face upon arrival to fostering a longer term independence ensuring they integrate fully into local life.

“We welcome the Home Secretary’s leadership in standing up for refugees’ rights and a united Britain right from the start of her new role. Community involvement, whether in the form of a sponsorship scheme or through established partnerships with charities and local authorities must always be set up in a safe, sustainable way with refugees needs front and centre.”

Jools Payne, A Refugee Action volunteer in Shropshire said:

“It is such a pleasure to be getting to know the families who have arrived here having fled such desperately dangerous and sad circumstances. I have learnt that it is really important to be mindful of their needs and requirements above everything else.”

“Helping them to settle into our town and understand how things work is a practical thing to be able to do when so many of us want to show that we care and that they are welcome here.”

Notes on Refugee Action’s resettlement service:

As part of Refugee Action’s established resettlement service, commissioned through the local authority, we offer local people the opportunity to help welcome and settle refugees into their communities.

They get involved in a variety of areas from greeting refugees on arrival, helping them to learn and practice their English, build knowledge of their local area and be given direction as to where they can go for further practical help or support.

Through this partnership we manage resettlement in a structured, safe and sustainable way. With the involvement of Welcome Groups and Volunteers like Jools the refugees are able to feel part of their local community, make friends and feel at home as quickly as possible.