On March 25th KCRS trustees attended, by conference call, a "Pre=Approval Meeting" with Home Office staff and representatives of Kingston Council.
The Home Office staff explained that all refugee resettlement flights have been temporarily suspended by UNHCR until at least mid-April 2020, probably longer. Community Sponsorship groups such as KCRS are advised to continue to work with the Home Office to obtain "approval in principle" for resettling refugee families but to delay securing rental accommodation for them until such time as resettlement flights are resumed.
KCRS was complimented on producing a good resettlement plan and asked to make only a small number of amendments and additions in order to gain approval in principle.
We have to
  • put in writing in our plan that we will not display the family name on welcome signs when meeting them at the airport
  • include in our safeguarding policy some consideration of how to protect refugees against being drawn into organised crime
  • provide an estimate of the likely cost of providing interpreter services
  • obtain approval of our safeguarding policy from the local child safeguarding department
We are proceeding with these requirements and will keep our members updated on further progress.
It is looking very likely that, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be some delay before we can welcome our first refugee family to Kingston. This, of course, remains our firm ambition and it was reassuring to hear from the Home Office that the resettlement schemes are expected to resume at some point.
12:47, 14 Apr 2020 by vince daly

As we move closer towards welcoming our first family, we will be holding a Members' and Suopporters Evening to discuss the ways you can get involved.

BECAUSE OF COVID-19, THIS EVENT IS POSTPONED UNTIL GOVERNMENT GUIDELINES PERMIT IT

Wednesday March 25th

All Saints Church, Kingston Market Place

6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

BECAUSE OF COVID-19, THIS EVENT IS POSTPONED UNTIL GOVERNMENT GUIDELINES PERMIT IT

Meet the KCRS trustees responsible for each aspect of supporting the family. Reflect on what we want the family to achieve under each heading of our resettlement plan as they move towards eventual independence. Review the volunteering opportunities that arise within each aspect of supporting the family.BECAUSE OF 

15:41, 05 Mar 2020 by vince daly

 

KCRS Email address

Please note that, for technical reasons, we are changing our email address tokingstonrefugeesponsorship@gmail.com

Refugee Resettlement Plan

Our resettlement plan has now been submitted to the Home Office as the basis for their approval “in principle” pending our securing accommodation for a refugee family. You can read the resettlement plan in full in the “Our Files” section of the KCRS website at https://kcrs.org.uk/.

Earlier drafts of the plan were revised in the light of advice from RESET, which is an organisation commissioned by the Home Office to support Community Sponsorship groups. Given that advice, we are fairly confident that the Home Office will judge the plan to be an adequate basis for a “pre-approval visit” in which a Home Office team will meet with the KCRS trustees. (UPDATE: The Home Office has now confirmed this.)

Preparing to Receive a Refugee Family

Let’s be optimistic and assume that our resettlement plan will be approved by the Home Office. On that basis, it’s now time to find out which KCRS members will be available to volunteer their time in support of a refugee family. There will be a members’ evening on 25/March to discuss volunteering opportunities.

 

PLEASE SAVE THE DATE

Wednesday March 25th

All Saints Church, Kingston Market Place

6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Meet the KCRS trustees responsible for each aspect of supporting the family. Reflect on what we want the family to achieve under each heading of our resettlement plan as they move towards eventual independence. Review the volunteering opportunities that arise within each aspect of supporting the family.

 

 

Autumn Quiz Night

Our quiz night on 19/October was an enjoyable and successful evening, raising just over £500. All Saints church in central Kingston, who have been very supportive of KCRS, kindly provided the venue. Our thanks go also to Richard Scorer, the quiz-master, and to Iain and Janet Nevill who looked after the refreshments.

Training

A group of KCRS members – trustees and others, attended a training event on January 24th at the Kingston Quaker Centre. The training was provided by RESET (https://www.resetuk.org/) on behalf of the Home Office. Most KCRS trustees have now attended this training since the Home Office consider it to be an important part of preparing to receive a refugee family.

 

Some points made during training:

  • Our vision should be to help the family become independent – supporting them in learning to do things for themselves
  • We must respect a resettled family’s privacy, for example sharing their contact details only on a “need to know” basis
  • We should be prepared for the family being surprised and possibly disappointed at some of the differences between their expectations of life in the UK and the reality

 

Christmas Trees

The New Malden Methodist church kindly invited us to join their 2019 Christmas Trees parade. The church was full of trees, each one decorated by a local charity. The decorations on the KCRS tree featured images cut from Christmas cards illustrating the gospel account of Mary and Joseph with the infant Jesus, as refugees, fleeing to Egypt to escape persecution by King Herod. This event raised just over £100 for KCRS.

KCRS Facebook Group

Our Facebook group has only 10 members so far so is not really functioning yet as a way for KCRS members to communicate with each other. If you use Facebook then please join our group – search (in Facebook!) for “Kingston Community Refugee Sponsorship” and apply to join.

Final Word

We have not yet secured accommodation for a refugee family. Do you know of any possibilities where a landlord might be willing to rent for two years at housing benefit rates? If so then please let us know at kingstonrefugeesponsorship@gmail.com

 

 

15:37, 05 Mar 2020 by vince daly