Integration

Developing an empowerment approach to managing utility bills

Part of your role as Community Sponsor will be supporting the refugee family to manage and budget for their utility bills independently. Navigating an array of options available to UK consumers can be difficult for people who speak English fluently, let alone a newly arrived family. In this resource we highlight some of the key…

Driving in the UK

Community Sponsorship Groups have shared with us that many of the newly arrived refugees they are welcoming are keen to have access to their own transport, to enable them to be independent. Refugees arriving with a valid driving licence from another country are usually permitted to drive on that licence for 12 months. In order to continue…

Empowering refugee children

When Community Sponsorship Groups begin supporting resettled families, if there are children in the family, they appear to be highly adaptable; they learn English quickly and the younger they are, the faster they seem to settle into a new environment. However, it’s important for Community Sponsorship Groups to remember that moving to a new place, away…

Experts by Experience: Abdullah’s driving tips

Abdullah arrived in the UK as a Syrian refugee in 2017 with only a few words of English and was welcomed by the CHARIS Community Sponsorship Group in the South West. 10 months later, he had passed his theory and practical driving tests, giving him vital independence and freedom. When he arrived in the UK,…

Family reunion

It is extremely likely that the family you support will ask you about the possibility of bringing members of their family to the UK.  Whilst it is possible in some cases to do so, it is extremely rare and very complex. This resource aims to give you some ideas on how you can address this as…

Immigration information

The most important thing we can tell you is this: if you or members of the refugee family you are supporting are in need of immigration advice, you should consult a registered Immigration Adviser or Lawyer.  You can identify an Immigration Adviser here: gov.uk/find-an-immigration-adviser These resources are designed to give you some idea of what to expect…

Managing financial disappointment

For most refugees, integration and financial security are interlinked, especially when they are resettled to a relatively wealthy country like the UK. Refugees will have also heard rumours from their networks about the UK and other countries that may lead them to believe that resettlement equates to not having to worry about money. Many Groups…

Preparing for uncomfortable conversations

When the resettled family you support arrives there are some key conversations you’ll need to have, and some topics will arise that may feel a little awkward. Uncomfortable conversations will happen, but they don’t have to be embarrassing or catch you off guard. Be confident that it’s ok to have them as the family’s wellbeing and integration…

Resettlement Evaluation

The Home Office requires all Community Sponsorship groups to keep records during their support of a family throughout the Sponsor Agreement period. Not only is this essential for managing both the support of a family and the running of the sponsor group, but it is also necessary for fulfilling your sponsor obligation to the Home…

Accessing digital services

Accessing services and details online will be essential for the family you support.  From registering for and managing their benefits through to connecting with friends and family across the world, developing IT skills will only be helpful. We like to remind Groups that success in Community Sponsorship is when resettled families are able to do…

Divorce and separation

Like with any relationship, problems can arise for everyone no matter where or how you have been living. This is including for those who have been forced to flee their homes and are displaced. We have heard of situations where, after arrival to the UK, newly resettled refugees have experienced a marriage breakdown. There could…

Exit planning

When we train Community Sponsorship groups prior to the arrival of a family, we talk to groups about the end of their support.  This might feel strange, and we’re not going to tell you that your relationship with a family is purely transactional, but it is important to start planning the changing nature of your…

Hate crime briefing

Sadly, hate crime against refugees is a very real problem. Although it is not by any means a common occurrence, it is something that is encountered all too frequently. However, it is something that the UK authorities now take very seriously. There are various ways in which incidents can be reported, and clear procedures on…

Introduction to cultural awareness

Understanding the culture of the refugees your Community Sponsorship Group are supporting is very important in the process of building rapport with the refugee family. Cultural awareness can include so many different areas – from understanding the family’s preferences or taboos to being able to help them celebrate their religious festivals. In this resource we…

Introduction to empowerment and integration

Integrating into a new country, or community, is a very personal process and it is impossible to put a timescale on how long it will take for someone to feel integrated. For some people, it may be a matter of months. For others, it could take years and integration is an ongoing process. It may…

Making loans to the family you support

Many Community Sponsorship Groups have established a process by which they will make an interest-free loan of funds to the family they are supporting.  Having additional money to support a specific ambition or to fill a gap can be empowering to a family who have been resettled in the UK, but it’s important to think…

NSPCC’s Positive Parenting guide

Parenting or guardianship can be difficult at the best of times. After arriving in a new country through resettlement, parents or guardians may be facing many additional pressures and personal challenges on top of supporting children who will themselves be learning to navigate their new environment. The National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC)…

Returning to a host country

This resource has been written in conjunction with UNHCR. During the time you support a resettled family, the family members are likely to go through some highs and lows. They might have unrealistic hopes for life in the UK such as feeling settled or finding jobs in a short amount of time. While coming to…

Setting goals to work toward integration

Feeling integrated is a deeply personal process, and there’s not a certain amount of time it will take to achieve this, but there’s ways in which you and your group can play a role in helping refugees to integrate and help them to develop their independence. The King’s Arms Project is a charity based in Bedford where they…