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Ceredigion Council wins national award for refugee work

Ceredigion County Council has won the 2019 Local Authority Award for its exceptional support of Community Sponsorship, a government-backed programme enabling ordinary people to support a refugee family to rebuild their lives in the UK.

Ceredigion was recognised for being an excellent collaborator and providing outstanding support to its local Sponsor Groups.

Speaking at last night’s award, a spokesperson for Ceredigion Council said:

“It’s great. We were working hard on supporting community sponsorship groups, and we were one of the first in Wales to have the scheme take off. It shows that it does work to have the local authority and voluntary community groups working alongside each other.”

Reset, the independent charity leading Community Sponsorship across the UK, supported the Local Authority Category at the Community Sponsorship Awards. Reset’s co-Director, Dr Kate Brown, said:

“Community Sponsorship allows groups of friends and neighbours to make a real difference to families who have fled their homes as they rebuild their lives in the UK. The programme is led by local communities, but requires local authority and government approval. This year Ceredigion County Council has been a shining example of how to support local Sponsor Groups to make the programme a success.”

Dr Brown went on to say:

‘Community Sponsorship is a real win-win: it supports refugees and enriches the lives of Sponsors too. Sponsors can learn about another culture, strengthen their community ties, and know they’re making a huge difference to people’s lives. Best of all, anyone can do it. If you’ve ever applied for a job or a school place, or know your local bus routes, you’ll be able to pass these skills on to a refugee family.’

Community Sponsorship began in Canada 40 years ago, and started in the UK in 2016. Since 2016, nearly 400 refugees have been welcomed through the programme. In Ceredigion, three Community Sponsor Groups have supported 16 refugees to integrate into their local communities.

The shortlist for the Local Authority Award also included Bristol City Council, Bury Metropolitan Council, East Lindsey District Council, and Liverpool City Council. The Community Sponsorship Awards took place on 8 October in Trafalgar Square in London, and are run by Sponsor Refugees, part of Citizens UK, a charity which organises communities for social good.

Reset provides in-person and online training and guidance on everything to do with Community Sponsorship. To find out more about Community Sponsorship, or see whether you’d like to become a Sponsor, visit Reset’s website at www.resetuk.org.