Our government is pressing ever harder to limit the rights of asylum seekers and migrants and squeezing those who do make it independently ever harder. Many of us think that resistance and activism against this inhumanity are the only options.
They aren’t the only choices. It is great to be able to welcome migrants using a safe and legal mechanism and supported by the Home Office. Resettlement through Community Sponsorship can give hundred of refugee families and individuals (in Canada hundreds of thousands) a new start in the UK, helping them with housing, health and employment so they can resettle in this country and integrate. The benefit is mutual - its good for the Sponsor and good for the Sponsored too since the Sponsor Group are hands on actively involved from welcoming the family at the airport to seeing their children grow up and become active citizens.
Neil Jameson, Founder of Citizens UK and Executive Chair of UK Welcomes Refugees has been actively involved in promoting Community Sponsorship at work since it was launched in 2016. He and a diverse team from Westminster Meeting, supported by London West Area Trustees helped set up the West End Welcome Sponsor Group recently.
He, colleagues and the Syrian Refugee family will talk to us about how it works, the challenges and the delights of helping people to thrive - and what benefits and new life it has brought to the Meeting - especially in lock down.