What is a local RW committee? What will they do?
Citizens UK has been working with over 80 groups UK wide over 2 years. Registering Local Refugee Welcome Committees (LRWC) with the National Refugee Welcome Board (NRWB) is simply a way add formal support to an already existing relationship.
What are the benefits of registering with the NRWB?
1) The National Refugee Welcome Board will mobilise support and resources for LRWCs. For example: offers of ice-cream from Ben and Jerry’s, scholarships from universities, sim cards from the Phone Co Op and additional means of support from business and civil society.
2) Support from professional Citizens UK Community Organisers
3) Becoming an official part of the national Refugee Welcome Movement we are building throughout the UK to create a meaningful, structured and long term response to the Syrian refugee crisis.
The next phase of the UK government’s refugee resettlement begins in March 2016. To demonstrate that the Local Refugee Welcome Committees (LRWC) are prepared to play a meaningful role in this resettlement effort, we are asking teams to register with the National Refugee Welcome Board (NRWB). Refugees are more likely to be resettled in areas that have official LRWC’s as it demonstrates the commitment and organisation of the local community.
To register with the NRWB, each team will need to:
1) Have a designated chair and co-chair with their contact details;
2) Create a locally tailored refugee welcome plan (click here for a downloadable Word version) which mobilises community resources to provide a warm, distinctive and long-lasting welcome to refugees once resettlement has been agreed. Once your local authority has signed up to resettlement, this will mean working positively with them to ensure that it is successful;
3) Commit to working with the Citizens UK Refugee Welcome Campaign and the NRWB on our national goals:
a) to resettle 50 000 Syrian refugees over 5 years;
b) create the route of private sponsorship for communities or individuals to part-pay for the costs of resettling refugees and;
c) play our part in helping to end the Calais crisis by providing safe and legal routes for refugees with close family ties to the UK to re-join their loved ones in this country.
4) Build broad participation from across the political spectrum with people and organisations that believe in a creating a proportionate British resettlement response to the refugee crisis. All LRWC’s should be based on the core values of mutual respect, democracy, and the pursuit of the common good.
5) Prepare communities for resettlement – by building a diverse alliance of civil society institutions to call for resettlement in their area, train them to engage effectively and positively with local authorities and plan for civil society contribution to resettlement through recruiting mentors, identifying volunteers with specialist skills, and problem-solving (eg helping the local authority to identify landlords);
6) Organising a movement that promotes further resettlement and support for those seeking sanctuary – building long-term local groups and relationships to sustain public support for resettled refugees, further resettlement, and tackles other injustices faced by people seeking sanctuary.