Ceredigion represented UK Local Authorities at a European meeting to discuss a community based approach to resettling refugees.

The UK community sponsorship scheme allows local groups to apply to the Home Office to resettle a refugee family in their local community.

The UK scheme was launched in 2016 and mid and west Wales have been very proactive with three groups in Pembrokeshire and two groups in Ceredigion getting involved. Groups who wish to take part must get County Council consent or the Home Office will not accept their proposal. Ceredigion County Council Refugees Coordinator travelled to Brussels to explain this process to representatives from Italy, Rumania, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Hungary, the Netherlands and Ireland.

The Refugees Coordinator said, “Germany and Ireland are in the process of establishing a community scheme. It was interesting to compare notes with people from these countries and talk with others who may want to set something up in the future. They were very interested in our experience and the lessons learnt.”

Aberaid in Aberystwyth and Croeso Teifi in Cardigan, are both registered charities. They have successfully applied to resettle families fleeing from conflict under the community sponsorship scheme in Ceredigion.

Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn, Ceredigion County Council Leader and Chair of the Ceredigion Refugee Resettlement Group said, “Ceredigion was one of the first Welsh County Councils to engage with the Syrian refugee resettlement scheme. It’s good to see that we are also leading the way with community sponsorship. I have met with volunteers from Aberaid and Croeso Teifi. Both groups are keen and very committed to the scheme.”