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Ceredigion nominated for Local Authority 2019 award for refugee work

Ceredigion County Council has been nominated for the Local Authority Award 2019 in the Community Sponsorship Awards 2019, an award ceremony organised by Sponsor Refugees.

Ceredigion is one of only five local authorities across the UK who have been nominated for this prestigious award for working in partnership with local community groups who want to help families fleeing from war, hunger and homelessness.

Community Sponsorship was launched in 2016 by the Home Office and gives power to local volunteer groups to resettle a refugee family in their community. Each scheme has to be vetted by the council before it can be considered for approval by the Home Office, who will then match refugees to the community group.

Two Community Sponsorship schemes – Aberaid and Croeso Teifi – have already been established in Ceredigion. Both schemes are run by volunteers and have resettled two families each under Community Sponsorship. As well as finding suitable accommodation, Community Sponsorship groups help refugee families to resettle in local communities, befriending them and helping them adjust and meet the inevitable challenges of living in a totally new environment.

Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn is Ceredigion County Council’s Leader and is the Chair of the Ceredigion Refugee Resettlement Group. She said: “I am delighted that Ceredigion County Council has been nominated for this award. As well as resettling over 40 Syrian refugees ourselves, we have also actively supported the applications of two community groups to do the same. We have provided support and advice to the groups in how they can set themselves up and make sure that the lessons we have learnt are shared. We also are available for advice and assistance if problems arise. We also learn from the sponsorship groups, who are very committed and hardworking, but find the work extremely rewarding.”

Aberaid and Croeso Teifi show that Ceredigion is an open and caring county. They have done fantastic work in helping even more refugees escape the danger they face in Syria. Between them, they have helped four families resettle in Ceredigion. We are also encouraging other communities in Ceredigion to consider taking part in community sponsorship to help more needy families to escape conflict.”

Bekele Woyecha, Senior Project Manager at Sponsor Refugees, said: “Local authorities play a pivotal role for the success of Community Sponsorship of Refugees. This year we received great and deserving nominations for the 2019 Community Sponsorship Awards. Heart moving stories of cooperation and partnership between local groups and local authorities. Congrats to Ceredigion Council on being shortlisted for the awards.”

The award ceremony will be held in London on 8 October.