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Bishop Eton Resettlement Group

 

Mission Statement

Bishop Eton parishioners have undertaken a commitment to apply to the Home Office through its Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme to bring a refugee family from the Middle East to live in the Parish community.  Parishioners will support the family for at least two years until it’s members have learnt English, settled into schools, received healthcare, found employment and become integrated into, and independent within, the community. 

Contact the Group

If you can help in any way with this parish project whether it be with time or expertise please email the project steering group on

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Organisation

Our Lady of the Annunciation Parish, known as Bishop Eton, in South Liverpool is a welcoming community of over 2000 adults and children.  Its Bishop Eton Resettlement Group (BERG) is made up of over 70 people, who are giving their time on a voluntary basis to ensure that the application to government will be successful and effective.  The work is led by a Steering Group of twenty people and seven Project Teams which are led by members of the Steering Group                                                                                                

Hierarchy

Roles and responsibilities of the Resettlement Group

as Host Sponsor

Bishop Eton, as a host sponsor, needs to meet the following Home Office criteria

  • commit to preparing for and supporting a family for the first 2 years of its resettlement into the UK
  • apply to the HO with a detailed Resettlement Plan, with supporting evidence
  • Accommodation: a suitable family home, with at least 3 bedrooms, must be found in the community and made ready for a family
  • ensure the accommodation is equipped with everything that is essential for daily life for the family
  • ensure the accommodation has
  • good state of structural maintenance and repair throughout
  • safe electricity and/or gas supply
  • adequate ventilation and lighting
  • registration with utilities companies
  • property security
  • Finances: raise a fund of at least £9K to be able to support the family for two years
  • must write and implement a credible Resettlement Plan
  • must gain a letter of support from Liverpool Authority, local councillor and local MP
  • must have a Safeguarding policy, procedures and DBS must be in place (in Liverpool’s case Nugent Care acts as indemnifier)
  • Education – must secure school places for the children
  • Language acquisition - must secure ESOL lessons of 10hrs/week of 3 months and 5 hrs/week for the next 9 months, for each adult family member
  • Interpreters – must secure interpreters to be with the family from arrival  
  • Faith – must introduce the family to a place of worship which meets its needs
  • Welcome and safety of family to be maintained
  • Healthcare/medical/social care assist the family into GP practice, dentist and any other healthcare specialist need
  • Employment assist and support the family into the benefits system until suitable employment can be found
  • Draw up a timetable of specific appointments to which the family must be taken
  • Information – provide a welcome pack with a whole range of information needed for living in Liverpool, in English and Arabic
  • Orientation – assist with bus passes, travel cards, routes and so forth
  • Transition – help family transition to independence and mutually agreeable friendship 

Resettlement timeline

The project was launched at all Masses in Bishop Eton Church on 14 January 2018.  Over 70 adults, the Youth Justice & Peace Group, the Young Adults Group and members of the SVP volunteered to take an active part in the programme.  Bishop Eton Primary School is also supporting with various activities.  A Steering Group of 20 was established leading four further teams which include all volunteers. 

The Steering Group will ensure actions are taken in order to put the Home Office requirements into place so that the Resettlement Plan will be written and submitted to government.   If everything meets the government standard, a family will be selected by UNHCR whose needs Bishop Eton is able to meet.  Once the Home Office Agreement is signed the family will arrive in the UK within 6 weeks.  

Background to the Refugee Crisis

The Call of Pope Francis in September 2015:

`May every parish, every religious community, every monastery, every sanctuary of Europe, take one family`

UK Government response

In November 2015 the Home Office stated: `The UK will develop a community sponsorship scheme to allow individuals, charities, faith groups, churches and businesses to support refugees directly`.  The government looked at the Canadian model which has been implemented since 1998 and has so far enabled the resettlement of over

300000 refugees.  The model has been successful because refugees have been taken into local communities which have taken responsibility for their resettlement enabling refugees to settle into Canadian way of life quickly and more fully.

Caritas, CEO based in the Diocese of Salford Response

In February 2016 a team of parishioners from St Monica’s Flixton decided to enter the Home Office programme.  Salford Diocese appointed a refugee coordinator who now works nationally. 

The Government Offer to the resettled family

  • The Syrian family will be carefully selected by the UNHCR. Typically, a family will have fled Syria some years ago and be living in hardship in a neighbouring country such as Lebanon
  • The family will be security screened and have medical checks
  • The family will receive UK orientation training
  • The host sponsor, its property and location will be matched to a family
  • The family will be flown to the UK and met by the sponsor and HO at the airport
  • The family will be given full refugee status and 5 Year Leave to Remain in the UK
  • It will be given immediate right to work and claim benefits
  • It will receive free health care and will be entitled to apply for a place at local schools
  • The Home Office will monitor and mediate after arrival and throughout for 2 years 

Caritas support for Bishop Eton

  • a community sponsorship coordinator will offer advice
  • full training and supervision
  • shared model and learning 

Liverpool Archdiocese support for Bishop Eton

nugentsmall2016via the Nugent charity, the archdiocese will provide

  • Charitable status
  • Legal and financial indemnity
  • Safeguarding policy and procedures and DBS for involved individuals 

Case study: St Monica’s, Flixton, Manchester

St Monica’s was the first parish in the NW to respond to the call.  It began its journey in February 2016 and welcomed its family at Manchester Airport in November 2016.  The family is a young couple with 3 primary age children.  The parish secured a three-bedroom house from a housing trust and set it up with everything needed for life in Britain.  They have helped the family at every stage with many medical, educational, language and welfare tasks.  They also helped the father, who is a chef to find voluntary work which then led to his move into paid employment at a local restaurant.