The challenge is for every one of us to demonstrate God’s love to those driven from their homes by war. Here is how you, your church and local community can provide refugees with a new home, practical skills and fresh hope as they arrive in the UK.
1. Join our movement
Join a growing movement of individuals, churches and communities coming together to use its voice, influence and resources to actively welcome and support refugees. We are inspiring, encouraging and equipping UK churches and faith-based communities to support refugee families directly by becoming Community Sponsors.
JOIN THE MOVEMENT
2. Become a Community Sponsor
Community Sponsorship enables your church to help a newly arrived refugee family rebuild their lives in the UK by providing emotional and practical support to the family directly. Sponsoring a refugee family is a transformative experience not only for the family but also for everyone in the community involved in helping the family rebuild their lives in the UK. Sponsors’ responsibilities include finding affordable housing, providing financial support (especially in the initial period of resettlement), seeking Local Authority consent and arranging English language classes for the family.
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby became the UK’s first community sponsor when he welcomed a refugee family into Lambeth Palace in July 2016.
While sponsoring a refugee family can be hugely rewarding experience, the process to becoming a sponsor can seem daunting at first. Our team is dedicated to helping current and potential sponsors by:
- Helping sponsors to engage with their local community through hosting events, the Stations Exhibitions, and training days with specialist agencies and charities.
- Informing and assisting sponsors to complete their community sponsorship application.
- Training and resourcing sponsors to be fully equipped to welcome refugees both culturally and practically.
- Connect sponsors in the movement to encourage mutual communication, sharing of sponsorship experiences, and logistical support.
3. Host the Stations Exhibition
The Stations Exhibition is an artistic project reflecting on the Stations of the Cross and the suffering of Jesus through images and stories of today’s refugees. This unique photographic study by creative director Marksteen Adamson is a parallel journey retold through the lives and stories of the refugees he met and befriended in Calais, Lebanon and the UK. The exhibition can be hired for community events, prayer groups, small groups, youth and children’s work, schools work, meetings with civic leaders and much more.THE STATIONS EXHIBITION
4. Give a Welcome Box
Our partner Upbeat Communities have devised a small way to make a big impact on the lives of refugees. Welcome Boxes are a brilliant way to welcome refugees arriving in your community. By giving a Welcome Box filled with small but practical gifts to recently arrived refugees, you are not welcoming someone to the neighbourhood, you are building the foundation for lasting friendships.
5. Mentor a young person
We are working with the Refugee Support Network (RSN), a leading provider of educational mentoring and psychosocial care for young refugees. RSN is working with churches and youth work providers to train local youth workers to mentor young refugees in their community.
REFUGEE SUPPORT NETWORK
6. Foster a child
There are currently more than one thousand unaccompanied children in the UK. We are working with Home for Good to help identify families and communities to welcome and foster these young refugees, giving them fresh hope and a new home.
HOME FOR GOOD
7. Teach someone English
Developed by our friends at Faith Action with Queen Mary University, Creative English Alliance help local churches run courses to develop useful language skills for refugees to thrive and settle into their new community.
8. Host a refugee in your spare room
Housing Justice operates a hosting scheme in London providing temporary accommodation for homeless migrants and refugees while their asylum or immigration case is being addressed. They receive referrals from a number of London agencies working with destitute migrants and refugees including Praxis, Notre Dame Refugee Centre as well as a number of Day Centres and others. Application process includes thorough risk assessments to ensure the safety of both hosts and refugee guests.
9. Help change the narrative on migrants and refugees
The stories we hear and the stories we tell are important. They help us shape our thoughts, form our opinions and set the agenda. So when refugees are portrayed negatively in the media, their inherent dignity is challenged. But every one of us has a voice in this story, and in times of political uncertainty at home our message of shared humanity is more important than ever. Join Christian Aid in changing the story around refugees: write to your newspaper and tell them that refugees deserve to be treated with dignity and compassion.CHRISTIAN AID