Bury Council has been shortlisted for a national award for its exceptional support of Community Sponsorship, a government-backed scheme enabling ordinary people to support refugees to integrate into their communities.
Since the programme began in 2016, nearly 400 refugees have been welcomed by groups of people up and down the country.
Reset, the leading independent charity supporting Community Sponsorship in the UK, is supporting the Local Authority Category at the Community Sponsorship Awards.
Reset’s co-director Kate Brown said: “Community Sponsorship is an incredible opportunity for anyone to make a difference to people who have been forced to flee their homes, and to strengthen their own community ties in the process. And we’ve learned that Community Sponsorship works best when sponsor groups work closely with the local authority, too. These awards are a chance for us to recognise the councils who are championing this life-changing scheme.”
Bury Council was nominated for the Local Authority Award for offering practical and professional support across all relevant departments, and emphasising the positive and practical support that the council can offer to those involved in Community Sponsorship.
In Bury, there are already three Community Sponsor Groups who have welcomed 13 refugees between them.
Councillor Sharon Briggs, Bury Council’s cabinet member for communities, said: “Well done to all involved with this innovative project, especially the members of our communities in Bury who have made this possible. They have enabled 13 refugees to have a safe and friendly journey’s end after their dreadful personal experiences. I am proud to be supporting this work.”
Reset reports that, though challenging, the impact of the scheme on the Sponsor Group Members themselves is overwhelmingly positive. Group members feel closer to their communities, learn about another culture, and feel satisfaction from making a positive impact on individuals’ lives, as well as the global refugee crisis.
Kate Brown went on to say: “Community Sponsorship is a real win-win. It helps refugees, and it benefits the people who support them at the same time. But few people realise they could become a sponsor. If you’ve ever rented a property, registered at a doctor’s surgery, or applied for a volunteer role or job, you’ll be able to help a refugee family do the same. It feels good to help, and strengthens community connections.”
The winner of the nominees for the Local Authority Category, which includes Bristol City Council, Ceredigion County Council, East Lindsey District Council, and Liverpool City Council will be announced on 8 October at an awards ceremony in London. The awards are run by Sponsor Refugees, part of Citizens UK, a charity which organises communities for social good.
If you would like to find out more about Community Sponsorship, visit Reset’s website at www.resetuk.org.
Issued: 27 September 2019.
Notes to editors:
-Community Sponsorship mobilises local communities to empower refugees, and provide them with all the tools they need to live independent and fulfilling lives in the UK. More here: https://resetuk.org/community-sponsorship
-Reset is the leading independent charity supporting Community Sponsorship in the UK. Reset supports Community Sponsorship Groups to welcome refugee families by providing advice and training, and works to develop the infrastructure for a sustainable scheme and raise awareness of it. More here: https://resetuk.org/about/reset
-The Community Sponsorship Awards are in their second year. Last year, Lambeth Council in London won the Local Authority category. More here: https://www.sponsorrefugees.org/celebrate