We know that members of Community Sponsorship Groups are incredibly committed and give significant time as well as expertise, baked good, funds and a whole range of other assets towards transforming the lives of refugees. (Though they don’t tend to see it like that, instead typically starting sentences with ‘We just…’!)

But we’re also aware that we don’t know as much as we’d like to about the incredible volunteers we work to support. And that understanding is important if we’re to work effectively to engage more volunteers in Community Sponsorship.

Last week, we launched Communities for Refugees: a campaign to…

Paul Hutchings co-founded Refugee Support Europe 4 years ago after his experiences volunteering in Calais moved him to act. This year, Refugee Support Europe set up their first Community Sponsorship Group in Birmingham.

Community Sponsorship is something a little bit different for us at Refugee Support Europe. The focus of our work has been on filling the gaps in crisis situations that other agencies aren’t able to fill. We’ve recruited over 1000 volunteers from more than 40 countries to respond to emergencies in Greece, Cyprus and Mexico. But now we’re looking closer to home.

Community Sponsorship is a refugee resettlement…

Catherine Griffiths founder of Croeso Menai, the first Community Sponsorship Group in North Wales.

In March 2020, a Syrian refugee family was supposed to arrive in Anglesey. We’d sponsored them to come here. We’d found them a home, stocked the fridge with fresh food, made the beds. One day before they were due to travel, their flight was cancelled due to the pandemic. The family’s chance to rebuild their lives had been put on hold and their limbo continued.

I understand why flights were cancelled in March. It was a tragic but necessary intervention to prevent the spread of Covid-19…

This article first appeared in the Oxford Mail. You can read it here.

Two years ago I arrived at Gatwick airport with my wife and baby son having fled the conflict in Syria.

We were met by our community sponsors who had volunteered to support my family as we rebuilt our lives in Oxford.

Their support has been life-changing for me and my family.

Just two years into our new lives here, we’re speaking English, working, and now supporting other vulnerable people in Oxford by delivering food parcels during the coronavirus lockdown.

Sadly, the pandemic has grounded flights that were…

Eveline’s Community Sponsorship Group in Bristol

Community Sponsorship naturally attracts people who want to help others. You get involved in Community Sponsorship because you want to help refugees in a practical way.

But sometimes helping people can disempower them. So how do you empower newly arrived refugees rather than simply help them?

As someone who has welcomed a refugee family through Community Sponsorship, I can tell you this is much easier said than done (especially when Ccoronavirus comes along!). …

Ellie is a member of 2 Community Sponsorship Groups in Cornwall and has more than 20 years’ experience in education.

A few years ago I moved to Cornwall, where I became part of one of the first Community Sponsorship groups, in Bude. I got involved for a few reasons. First and foremost, I wanted to support refugees. Second, this seemed like a good way to get to know people in my local area (which it has been!). And third, I thought my professional experience could be really useful in this setting.

I have more than 20 years’ experience as a…

At Reset, we talk a lot about the transformative potential of Community Sponsorship. How it impacts the lives of refugees welcomed into communities in this country, but also how it transforms the lives of those doing the welcoming and brings change to communities.

And we know there to be truth in what we say, because people tell us so. Anecdotally, we know that volunteers in Groups can find real purpose in supporting strangers. Through the stories they tell us, we know that Community Sponsorship can build bonds across communities and change the way people think and feel about refugees.


It’s been just over 4 years since the first refugee family arrived in the UK through the Community Sponsorship scheme. The successful development of a new programme always depends upon independent and thorough evaluation, which is why we are so excited by the University of Birmingham’s research into Community Sponsorship.

In this blog, we share how we’ve adapted to address their recommendations, and what plans we have in place to continue to adapt.

1. Expanding the types of training that we offer

Reset trains Community Sponsorship Groups all over the UK. The Home Office requires that Groups attend our training before they begin welcoming refugees.

We recently split our…

Jackie McLoughlin, founder of the Sutton Deanery Community Sponsorship Group, has been recognised by the Queen for her work to bring a Syrian refugee family to the UK and support their resettlement. Jackie was awarded Maundy Money in an 800-year-old tradition which sees people doing outstanding work in their communities recognised by the reigning monarch on Maundy Thursday. We spoke to Jackie to find out what Community Sponsorship means to her and why she believes that more people should be sponsoring refugees.

You will all have seen the heart-breaking image of Aylan Kurdi washed up on a beach, so you…

Abdullah arrived in the UK as a Syrian refugee in 2017 with only a few words of English. 10 months later, he had passed his theory and practical driving tests, giving him vital independence and freedom and allowing him to continue his job as a key worker during the coronavirus pandemic.

Gordon East, founder of CHARIS, set up the Community Sponsorship Group which sponsored Abdullah and his family. …

Reset UK

Reset is working to support and grow #CommunitySponsorship for refugees — an exciting scheme that allows communities to welcome a #refugee family

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store