12th July, 2017
Penny Appeal looking to support ground-breaking refugee initiative
Penny Appeal are in talks to support the Full Community Sponsorship programme, set up by the government. The initiative began in 2014 under the guise of the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme. It aims to house and protect families and vulnerable people who have been displaced or put at serious risk by regional turmoil, such as conflict and famine in the Middle East or North Africa (MENA).
The ground-breaking scheme will be part of the British Government’s pledge to resettle 20,000 vulnerable Syrians over the lifetime of the current parliament. Working closely with the United Nations Refugee Agency, UNHCR, the project will work within MENA countries, starting with Syria.
The programme aims to protect vulnerable people from abuse, exploitation and conflict in areas that are currently experiencing times of remarkable upheaval. The vulnerable people or families this sponsorship resettles will be in need of medical care, have survived violence or torture, or be in urgent need of humanitarian aid.
Depending on the circumstances, a community sponsor will be allocated a family fleeing conflict. The family will go through stringent suitability and security checks before being selected and allocated to a community sponsorship applicant.
Applicants can be community groups, faith groups, charities or businesses, or anyone meeting the detailed list of requirements, set out by the government. A community sponsorship is an undertaking coloured with deep responsibility, as part of the application process, groups or individuals must show demonstrable experience, have a ‘ring-fenced’ sum of £9k per family, and go through rigorous Home Office checks before being considered as a sponsor.
If accepted, a sponsor will be required to meet the family at the airport, provide a welcome and cultural orientation, provide housing, support access to medical and social services, be responsible for arranging English language tuition and support towards employment and self-sufficiency.
As Penny Appeal looks to increase its involvement in the initiative in the near future, Aamer Naeem, Penny Appeal’s CEO said, “It’s always about whether or not you want to be an observer of what’s happening around you or whether you want to be a participant.” As the project unfurls its wings, we will undoubtedly see much heavier involvement from groups across the country.
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