Bridge For Refugees

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Our vision is to welcome a refugee family into our neighbourhood during 2020 and, over the next two years, support them to build a new life alongside us.

We want to do this through Community Sponsorship, a scheme introduced in 2016 by the UK Government to help local community groups sponsor a refugee family for resettlement in the UK.

Why do we want to do this?

All Saints is an outward facing church whose mission is to find a compassionate and creative response to problems facing our world. 

Some of us know from the experience of our families and friends how it feels to be a refugee; others have met or worked with refugees and have learned much from their resilience and the contribution they have made to building new communities here in Britain. 

We feel deeply that it is right to use some of our time, talents and resources to help people currently living as refugees as a result of war and persecution. 

We want to help to build bridges with troubled parts of the world, with other faiths and with our own wider community in Fulham.

We think we have much to gain from welcoming a refugee family to Fulham: friendship, respect and mutual understanding; learning new skills; and strengthening our community.

We believe that God is calling us to take up the challenge of sponsoring a refugee family, and we pray for his strength and guidance as we seek to achieve our vision.

What we will do

We will apply under the Home Office-run Community Sponsorship scheme to sponsor a refugee family to come to Fulham and to help build a new life alongside us over the next two years. This is a serious commitment which needs planning, resources and time.

The scheme offers help to vulnerable refugees who have fled the Syrian conflict and are stuck in camps or cities in the Middle East, including refugees who do not have Syrian nationality.  Decisions about which refugees come to the UK are made by the UK Government and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

The main steps involved in the Community Sponsorship Scheme are:

  • to establish an organised group to plan and implement the sponsorship.  We are well on the way with this, but there are plenty of opportunities for others to join in;
  • to raise £9,000 in funding.  This is required as a guarantee and may be used to cover expenses and interim costs while benefits claims are processed.  The money has already been given to the project by the PCC;
  • to find an affordable home in good condition for the family to live in.  We know that this is one of our biggest challenges and we are already planning for how we can identify a suitable property;
  • to prepare to provide practical resettlement support to the family. This will include meeting the family at the airport and bringing them to their new home; providing access to interpretation and English language teaching; helping them to find and register with a GP and schools; support in benefit applications and helping them to find a job; 
  • to work with the Local Authority and obtain their support for our plans;
  • to satisfy the Home Office that we are a responsible group with sound plans, by working with them and completing the application form including such requirements as a budget, resettlement plan and safeguarding policy.

We are already creating new partnerships. We have met with members of successful projects in London who have inspired us with their enthusiasm and been generous in offering invaluable advice which has encouraged us to believe we can achieve this.

How we are organised 

Bridge for Refugees is currently made up of people from All Saints Fulham who have already committed to this project. The Revd Will Levanway, Curate of All Saints, is Chair, supported by two Deputy Chairs and an energetic Secretary, with other members taking forward different strands of the work, such as finding housing, communications or befriending. The group meets monthly on the second Wednesday.  The group reports to All Saints Fulham PCC, which provides the charitable status required to qualify for the Home Office scheme.

More members are welcome; please email us.

Our timetable 

  • Spring and summer 2019 – raising awareness and gathering information;
  • September/October – seeking accommodation and preparing the application for the Home Office scheme;
  • By December 2019 – submit application for Community Sponsorship;
  • Spring 2020 – welcome a refugee family to Fulham.

Read some of our F.A.Q.s about the Bridge for Refugees group at All Saints Fulham

Related Links

Sponsor Refugees

Capital Mass

Hammersmith & Fulham Refugees Welcome Group