Community Sponsorship

Community Sponsorship Scheme

For centuries refugees have come to Britain seeking safety and a chance to rebuild their lives. In recent years, one of the most successful ways has been through community resettlement.

In 2015, in response to the Syrian refugee crisis David Cameron pledged that Britain would take in 20,000 Syrian refugees by 2020. One of the routes was through a scheme called ‘The Community Sponsorship Scheme’. 

Community Sponsorship is a way for local communities, civil society organisations, charities, and faith groups to be directly involved in helping refugees settle in the UK. Community sponsors provide emotional and practical support to empower families to rebuild their lives in safety, and to become self-sufficient members of their new community. 

As a Lead Sponsor we have recruited, trained, and supported 13 groups of volunteers who have either welcomed, or are in the process of welcoming, refugee families through the Community Sponsorship Scheme, both locally in Northern Devon and nationally.

Learn more here

Community Sponsorship Ambassadors

We’re really hoping our volunteer community (especially those in existing community sponsorship teams) and friends of the Foundation can help us to form these new groups nationally. Your personal experience about what it’s like to work alongside us in supporting displaced people will make you a powerful ambassador!

So,  how can you help?

We have 3 favours to ask you:

1) Please share our Foundation communications and events from our various social media platforms to your own networks.

2) Would any organisations (clubs, churches etc) you, or your friends belong to, like us to come and speak about the Community Sponsorship scheme? If so, please contact our Community Sponsorship lead, Sara Wilson

3) Please could you email your own network, to ask for their help? In case it’s helpful for your communication, we have made a little suggested message, you can copy below:

Hi [insert name of person you know]

Did you know that I have been involved with The Pickwell Foundation in supporting a refugee family to come to [insert town or village name]?

It has been a [insert your own feelings here!] experience and now Pickwell are looking to welcome more families to Torrington, Bideford and Lynton/Lynmouth but need help to form a welcome group. Is this something you might be able to help with?

Here is some more info about the scheme:

“Having my Community Sponsorship group welcome me to the UK changed my life, and I cannot thank them enough for all they have done and continue to do for me”Khadeja Alamary from Syria.

Community Sponsorship is a refugee resettlement programme with local people at its heart. It is a scheme where communities come together to welcome a family into their Town and Village and guide and support the family for a year after they have arrived.

Here is a film about The Pickwell Foundation’s work –

Fill out our online volunteer application form (find the form here) and  follow the Pickwell Foundation Facebook page for future events.

Fancy a quick chat? Email:

Warmest Regards

[Insert your name]

Community Sponsorship Partners

You can also read more about the Community Sponsorship Scheme from our South West Partner CHARIS and our friends at RESET.                      

Community Sponsorship Alliance

Trustee and director for the asylum and refugee work – Susannah Baker MBE – is co-chair of the national group ‘Community Sponsorship Alliance’ (CSA). This advocacy group meet regularly with the Home Office to help steer and advise on sponsorship policy and growing the scheme.


Sara Wilson Community Sponsorship Lead

Khadeja Alamary Community Resettlement Ambassador