Afternoon Tea in the House of Commons


On the 5 th September 2023, the Community Sponsorship Alliance UK met for ‘Afternoon Tea’ in the House of Commons Jubilee Room at the invitation of Helen Hayes MP. The gathering was an important opportunity to call for “safe routes to safe homes in safe communities for people seeking sanctuary” in other words for the expansion of the Community Sponsorship scheme and its wider application to refugees needing resettlement.


The idea of Afternoon Tea was to bring to the attention of parliamentarians the work of the
Community Sponsorship Alliance and in particular what we are calling for:

  • Support for the UNHCR involvement and Home Office investment in a streamlined
    UK Resettlement Scheme with special reference to supporting lead and principal
    sponsoring organisations;
  • A safe humanitarian route for “Named” individuals and families to come to the UK;
  • More innovation in rental arrangements to ensure the availability of housing and
    accommodation to refugees
  • A recognition of the experience and contribution civil society actors such as
    sponsoring organisations can make to resettlement;
  • A national strategy with long-term goals and investment.


This was an important moment in the development of an alliance of community sponsorship organisations and a great event with a very positive atmosphere and spirit of togetherness. Helen Hayes MP, who hosted the event, spoke of the importance of voluntary organisations playing an important part in resettlement and integration. Lord Alf Dubs and Lord Blidworth of Murray were both in attendance and enthusiastic to promote the strategy to keep open safe and humanitarian routes for refugees.


Finally, a lovely note to end on was that friendships underpins the Community Sponsorship
Alliance. Friendship was physically amongst the takeaways as friendship bracelets that had
been hand-made especially for invitees by displaced Syrian women. Theses friendship
bracelets are made with hope, given with love and worn in solidarity.


UKWR is a proud supporter of the Community Sponsorship Alliance UK. To find out more