Bridge for Refugees is a group that was set up in 2019 with a vision of welcoming a refugee family from the conflict zones of the Middle East into our area under the Government’s Community Sponsorship Scheme.
Before the pandemic, we were making good progress – we had the support of Hammersmith and Fulham Council; had a provisional application completed and ready to submit; and were focusing on trying to find suitable accommodation for a family.
But Covid posed new and unexpected challenges. The UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency, suspended refugee resettlement because of the global pandemic, and the future of the Community Sponsorship Scheme remains uncertain.
We had to put our plans on hold in Spring 2020 but have continued to meet virtually to review the situation and explore other ways in which we might help refugees. We wrote to our MP to press the Government to continue with resettlement and reopen safe routes for refugees.
The Group will take decisions on the way forward for the project in the spring or early summer.