Published: 17 Nov 2021  |  Category: Group management  |  Stage: We are getting started

Forming a group

This resource will help you consider the skills and experience needed within your group

In order to manage your group and ensure that tasks are delegated fairly and appropriately, it will be helpful to establish roles for group members. Community Sponsorship groups have organised themselves in different ways and it is important that you find what works best for you, but we do advise against overloading one person with too many duties as this may be difficult to maintain and can lead to over-reliance on one individual.

You may have volunteers who would be happy to take on big projects, such as searching for accommodation or liaising with your Local Authority. Volunteers who can only assist occasionally might be better placed to take on activities like providing opportunities for the resettled families to practice conversational English, fundraising, or helping to prepare the accommodation for the family’s arrival.

Roles you may wish to consider include:

  • Group Lead – This person acts as the main contact for the application process and provides support throughout the sponsorship period. They will usually lead meetings.
  • Finance Lead – This person is responsible for the group’s finances. If you are partnering with another charity who acts as your Lead Sponsor, someone from that organisation may wish to play this role.
  • ESOL Lead – This person leads the delivery of the English Language provision for the family you resettle.
  • Volunteer Lead – This person coordinates the activities of those assisting in resettlement in order to ensure the right people are available at the right time. It is likely that you will have lots of people involved in a variety of ways in your sponsorship group, from preparing the accommodation to researching medical provision in your community.
  • Safeguarding Lead – This person is responsible for drawing up your group’s safeguarding policy and procedures, ensuring that appropriate reporting and escalation procedures are in place and adhered to, and that your members are aware of what to do in the case of a safeguarding concern. All those resettled through Community Sponsorship are considered vulnerable, so it is essential that every group has a robust Safeguarding policy that is discussed with your Local Authority Safeguarding Team as part of the application process. Your Safeguarding Lead may also act as your Designated Safeguarding Lead within the group.

Other roles/responsibilities to consider:

  • Employments/Benefits – it can be very useful to have someone in your group who understands the benefits process. This person would liaise with the Jobcentre while your group prepares the resettlement plan and would provide support to the family after their arrival.
  • Communications – it can be helpful to have someone with experience of marketing and communications in your group. This person could help you to raise awareness of your activities, fundraise, and use social media effectively. They could also help you to create an identity for your group.
  • Education – should the family you resettle have school-age children, you will need to research how to register at local schools and aim for the children to have completed the registration process within two weeks of arrival.  
  • Fundraising – having enthusiastic and dedicated fundraisers in your group will help you to meet the fundraising target of £9,000. Every sponsorship group is required to meet this target, as the Home Office deem it to be the minimum funds required to resettle a family.
  • Welfare – your group will need to ensure that the resettled family are registered with doctors and dentists after arrival. It can be very useful to have someone on your team who can research what is required and assist the family after their arrival so that they are empowered to take control of their own healthcare needs .

What your group decides to offer as part of your resettlement will differ from those of other groups. It is worth discussing what roles, skills and experience you need to deliver your proposed plans.

If you are working with a Lead Sponsor who is supporting your application, make sure you speak to them early in your planning about the roles, responsibilities and procedures within which they need you to operate. 

Visualising your group’s roles

Your group will choose whichever structure works best for your members and the amount of time they are able to dedicate to the project. Below is an idea for a core group structure to help you visualise how you might approach organisation and leadership roles. Remember that your group’s structures and dynamics will change over time based on the needs of the family you welcome, your current stage in the process, and the availability of volunteers.

Community Sponsorship Group roles