Following refugee week in June, Ceredigion residents are being encouraged to consider taking part in a community sponsorship scheme to host Syrian refugees.
Community Sponsorship was launched in 2016 and gives power to local volunteer groups to resettle a refugee family in their community.
Two Community Sponsorship schemes – Aberaid and Croeso Teifi - have already been established in Ceredigion. Both schemes have resettled two families each under Community Sponsorship.
Lindsey Gilroy from Aberystwyth’s Aberaid said, “It’s not easy. You have to raise at least £9,000 to cover costs like translation, furnishing the house and English lessons. You also have to get approval from Ceredigion County Council – they need to be confident that we are an organisation that is capable of providing the ongoing support that the families need.”
“However despite the challenges, community sponsorship is an incredibly empowering and transformative process of taking leadership from the bottom up. We are all used to demanding action from government but community sponsorship enables people to take matters into our own hands and do it ourselves, which is hugely positive.”
Vicky Moller from Cardigan’s Croeso Teifi agreed. She said, “The council has been great, but there are a lot of bureaucratic hoops to jump through. It is very much worth it though. The families we have welcomed to Cardigan are very grateful and very keen to contribute to local life. Our first family arrived in 2017 and the children now speak English and Welsh.”
Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn is Ceredigion County Council’s Leader and is the Chair of the Ceredigion Refugee Resettlement Group. She said, “Community Sponsorship is a big commitment, but hugely rewarding. It is a practical way for local people to respond to the global refugee crisis.”
“The refugees have said they are grateful for the genuine welcome they have received in the UK, and Ceredigion communities have exemplified this warm welcome.”
If you are interested in contributing to refugee resettlement in Ceredigion, you can read more about Community Sponsorship on https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apply-for-full-community-sponsorship or speak with Cathryn Morgan at Ceredigion County Council by calling 01545 570 881 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The council are looking for another two properties in the private rented sector to meet their pledge to resettle 50 refugees in Ceredigion by the end of 2019. If you can help at all, please call the council and ask for Cathryn Morgan.