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How a community resettlement group is welcoming refugees to Sheffield

South Yorkshire’s first community resettlement group, Steel City Welcome, is looking for volunteers to support the resettlement of a family in Sheffield.

Park Hill Flats from above
Benjamin Elliott (Unsplash)

Steel City Welcome, a community resettlement group supported by Citizens UK, was set up in April 2020 in the hope of directly resettling and providing safety for a family in Sheffield. It’s a group set up as part of the wider community sponsorship scheme developed by the government, in 2016, that allows local communities to be directly responsible for the resettlement of a refugee family in their area.

With the government currently pushing through its Nationality and Borders Bill that would effectively further limit the number of legal routes for migrants coming to the UK, the need for local action within communities has never been more needed.

And that’s exactly what Steel City Welcome aims to do with its work.

They have already raised the necessary funding - £9000 - to put in an application to the Home Office for a resettled family, and have also found them suitable accommodation. But none of the money raised will be used for Home Office expenses, and will instead go directly to resettling a family fleeing from war, violence or persecution.

The funding will be used to cover items such as: initial expenses, accommodation, school registration, English Language courses, access to public services, and interpretation services.

However, it isn’t just funding that is needed to resettle a family in Sheffield.

Resettlement also requires a dedicated family support team, which would be in place for at least a year, that can help a family properly settle into their new home and their new lives. And this is where Steel City Welcome needs additional help in the form of volunteers.

Roshan Lal, founder of Steel City Welcome, told Now Then:

I started Steel City Welcome in April 2020 because Europe - and the UK - is not meeting its obligations to provide safety to those fleeing war and persecution. Community resettlement allows ordinary people to make a tangible difference by giving a family a home who otherwise wouldn't get one.


I also see it as an act of redistribution. I'm lucky enough to live in a place that gives me safety, community and belonging, and that shouldn't be an accident of birth. Everyone deserves that and through resettlement we can make it happen.


I also wanted to counter anti-migrant narratives: anyone who says there aren't enough resources for everyone to live a decent life is lying, and anyone who says that people with different backgrounds, ethnicities and values can't live and work together is also lying.


There is room at the table for everyone, and if you'd like to help us create that sense of community, welcome and belonging for a family, please consider volunteering with us.

For questions or to enquire about volunteering with Steel City Welcome, you can email them on steelcitywelcome@gmail.com

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