We at the Tottenham Refugee Alliance remain appalled by the unimaginable hardship experienced by millions of people fleeing conflict.

The brutal and horrifying civil war in Syria led more than 5 million people to flee the country and more than 6 million were internally displaced. Most of them are women and children, in fact children alone make up half of those affected. Within Syria, families face violence, a collapsed infrastructure (95% lack adequate healthcare and 70% lack regular access to clean water) and years of missed schooling.

Many remain in refugee camps where conditions are hard, and there is malnutrition and disease due to poor sanitation, child labour, and a lack of education opportunities.

The Community Sponsorship Programme was set up by the Home Office with the aim of identifying vulnerable refugee families, including people requiring urgent medical treatment, survivors of violence and torture and women and children at risk, and re-settling them in the UK.

Community Sponsors, made up of groups of sympathetic volunteers,  can apply to the Home Office to support a family to resettle in the UK under the the Community Sponsorship Programme.

The crisis in Afghanistan more recently meant huge numbers of refugees fleeing the country since the Taliban takeover.  Britain agreed to ensure the safety and resettlement of those who worked to support the United Nations forces in Afghanistan but many were left behind and many families who were brought to Britain remain in hotel accommodation with little or sporadic support and facing social isolation.

The ongoing crisis in Ukraine has seen an exodus of people fleeing the war and the Homes for Ukraine Scheme set up by Government to permit sympathetic sponsors to open their homes to house Ukrainian refugees on a temporary basis has been hampered by visa problems and a lack of oversight and safeguarding.

In the light of these ongoing refugee situations, the Tottenham Refugee Alliance, now approved by the Home Office, remains committed to the significance of Community Sponsorship as a well-tested programme which has brought many refugee families to resettle in Britain supported by the residents of the local community in which they reside.  This commitment ensures a welcoming and secure environment within which they can move towards independence in their new home.