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Southend Community Sponsorship Group joins Citizens

This group of volunteers is busy working to resettle a refugee family in their community via the Government’s ‘Community Sponsorship Scheme’.  At the moment, they are busy raising money and establishing a support system for a refugee family. We asked one of their volunteers – Pippa Ullmer – why they joined Citizens.  “Juliet Kilpin, who has been supporting us since we started the group, encouraged some of us to go to the Community Organising training courses that Citizens run” Pippa explained.  “On the courses we learnt about Citizens tools and techniques for community organising, like 1-2-1s, Listening Campaigns and Actions. Now we’re starting to put what we’ve learned into practice by working towards supporting a refugee family through Community Sponsorship.  We’re also really looking forward to working with other local organisations supporting Citizens.”  


The Southend Community Sponsorship Group is a group of volunteers working together to welcome to the UK a Syrian refugee family fleeing conflict.  They hope to help them settle into Southend, through the government’s Community Sponsorship scheme, which has already transformed the lives of 400 refugees who have been resettled across the UK since 2016.  From 2020 - 2021, the government has committed to resettling 5000 refugees, but any families resettled through Community Sponsorship are in addition to this. Therefore, Southend Community Sponsorship will very much be a part of changing the amount of people brought to safety.

With the help of Citizens UK and RESET, (national charities supporting Community Sponsorship groups), the group are creating a resettlement plan to help the family rebuild their lives in Southend. From the
moment they arrive, Southend Community Sponsorship will be providing housing, help with accessing education, language lessons, employment support and a lot more.  As Pippa explains “We are one of 250 Sponsorship groups across the country at various stages of planning and providing support to refugees. To make this happen in Southend we need to raise at least £12,000 so that the family can receive all the support they need. £9000 is the minimum requirement from the Home Office, which is the estimated amount needed to support the family. We have budgeted a further £3000 to cover additional costs including housing in Southend. We’re really grateful for the donations we’ve received so far and are looking forward to holding more fundraising events in the future.  Even small donations help make a difference.  To find out more about what you can do to help, please contact them at mailto:southendcommunitysponsorship@gmail.com or visit their facebook page.  

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