Community Sponsorship Programme Approved

As part of our ongoing commitment to all our communities in Guildford, we are very happy to support Resettle@Guildford’s application to the Home Office to welcome refugees into our Borough. Through the government programme of Community Sponsorship, local community groups such as Resettle@Guildford can welcome, house and support refugee families directly into their local community.

Resettle@Guildford prepared an application to the Home Office for Community Sponsorship and in line with Home Office requirements sought both our support and Surrey County Council and on Tuesday 20 July, our Executive agreed to progress arrangements for consented community sponsorship.

Lead Councillor for Community, Cllr Julia McShane says:

“Welcoming refugees enriches are communities as individuals and families have the opportunity to feel safe to build their lives here and contribute to the local economy through employment and voluntary work. As we have seen throughout the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, local communities in Guildford are strengthened when we work together and when we support the less advantaged and vulnerable. The Community Sponsorship Programme presents an opportunity to promote community spirit, to encourage individuals and families to welcome and support refugee households, and to be more resilient in times of need. This results in a vibrant local economy with thriving communities in Guildford.”

In approving the application and delegating authority to the Director of Service Delivery in consultation with the Lead Councillor for Community and Housing to give consent to future applications, we are making sure that community sponsorship programmes can help our most vulnerable and empower communities to live well.

Under the scheme a community sponsor:

  • Finds a property that will be available for two years.
  • Provides resettlement support for one year.
  • Meets a household at the airport.
  • Provides a warm welcome and cultural orientation.
  • Supports access to medical, social, welfare, and education services
  • Offers English language tuition.
  • Offers support towards volunteering, employment, self-sufficiency, independence and safeguarding support.