The Clifton Refugee Sponsorship Scheme is run by parishioners of Clifton Roman Catholic Cathedral (UK), and comes under the Clifton Diocese and its Bishop Declan Lang.
Several of those working on this project are members of the Dominican Order from the Bristol Lay Dominican Fraternity: www.laydominicansbristol.org/
A short clip in which the Clifton Refugee Sponsorship Scheme Chair encourages support for this scheme can be found at twitter.com/ResetUKorg/status/1126490617482182656.
Lyn Murray: Chief Operating Officer, Clifton Diocese
The Lead Sponsor is ultimately accountable for the resettlement support provided by the group to the refugee family. The Lead Sponsor’s responsibilities include adhering to the legal and financial requirements; establishing that a robust safeguarding policy is in place and adhered to; ensuring group members are suitable to support a refugee family and that consideration is given to conducting Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks where applicable.
Chairs and Project Managers
Professor Paul Williams (Chair)
Chris Brennan (Executive Chair)
Between them chair all meetings pertaining to community sponsorship, including meetings of the core group, and those involving any wider group. Responsible for leading the delivery of the community sponsorship ‘project’, from application through to delivery of the resettlement plan. The Project Manager is often the group’s main point of contact with the Home Office. Also manages the website.
Secretary and Communications
Responsible for preparing and distributing the agenda for all meetings, taking minutes, communicating with any wider group on behalf of the core group, and maintaining records of meetings and activities of the group. Responsible for ensuring positive and effective communications with all stakeholders, the local community, partner agencies and media to further the aims of the group.
Employment and Benefits
Responsible for establishing links with relevant staff at local DWP offices and for ensuring timely registration of the family for all applicable benefits, and the continuation of benefit claims thereafter. They should also work with the family to identify suitable voluntary and paid work opportunities, training for working age family members, and supporting the adults on their journey to secure full-time employment.
Responsible for ensuring timely and effective provision for the refugee family’s general health and welfare, including local GP registration, additional healthcare provision as required, starter packs of food, and facilitating and supporting appointments. They should also seek to provide ongoing advice, information and training sufficient to equip the family to manage their own longer-term health and welfare needs. Also responsible for drawing up the group’s safeguarding policy and procedures and ensuring that appropriate reporting and escalation procedures are in place and adhered to. If necessary should also seek to liaise with the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board.
Responsible for the group’s finances, including oversight of all aspects of the financial administration of the group (e.g. collation and disbursement of all monies, financial reporting, financial projections, contingency planning, provision of financial and budgeting information). Responsible for all financial advice and support provided to the family. Devising, promoting, and coordinating any further fundraising activity in support of the aims of the sponsor group, including budget setting for the project and for the family and financial support/maintenance.
All the accommodation aspects – finding an appropriate property, seeing to its various contents etc. Responsible for seeking assurances from the local Safer Neighbourhood Policing team that they do not have any concerns about the address being used to house a refugee family, and also offering the local authority an opportunity to inspect the property. Responsible for overseeing the sourcing, preparation, furnishing, maintenance and upkeep of suitable accommodation for the refugee family, and for timely communication between the group, the Housing Provider/Landlord and the family. Ensuring the property is in an appropriate state for when the family arrives.
Mary and Chris Brennan
Schools and Education aspects – seeing to all the education needs of the family, including both children’s education and also all English language training. Responsible for the provision of ESOL, ensuring that family members receive the required hours of training.
Prayer and Intercession
This is our Lord’s project. Without His ongoing support for our work our family will not receive the help He is asking us to bring to them. Others might wish to support us in this way, by ‘joining’ this working group through agreeing formally to pray for our project daily.
In addition to the more formal roles that exist within a core sponsor working group, there are many opportunities that depend on the goodwill of the wider community. Additional volunteers can play a valuable role by assisting a resettled family in a number of ways, e.g. with the provision of conversational English, befriending, or with helping the family to navigate the local area and making connections with the wider community. See the page on How Can You Help.
Other advisors, including those with considerable experience of successful CSS projects, who are there to offer support and help:
Sean Ryan MBE - national Caritas coordinator for the Community Sponsorship Scheme (for a short podcast in which Sean talks about the scheme and what it means for the Catholic Church, see soundcloud.com/catholicchurch/the-quiet-revolution-supporting-syrian-refugees )
Lisa Westlake – CHARIS (Taunton - see Links page)
Gordon East – CHARIS
Carly Whyborn - RESETUK (see Links page)
Dan Green - Bridges for Communities (see Links page)
Anne James, Liz Legum and Khaled Abdulaziz – Bristol City Council contacts