Lochwinnoch Welcomes is a new group, looking into Community Sponsorship as a means to welcome a refugee family fleeing trauma - via a safe and legal route. We want to help them to rebuild their lives in our village community.
Like so many people, we’ve felt heartbroken and helpless at the images of children living in camps or bodies washing up on Mediterranean shores. Community Sponsorship is a meaningful way that we can make a real difference to the life of one family.
Who we are
We are a group of people who call Lochwinnoch home. We have different backgrounds and motivations, but are united in our desire to extend the community spirit of Lochwinnoch to a family desperately in need. We are being supported by a charity called Citizens UK.
Some of the reasons group members have told us they’re involved are:
“I want to give a family the chance of a safe and welcoming fresh start in a new country and show my children what people can achieve if they work together.”
“I want to send a message to the international community that we are listening, we care and that refugees are not forgotten.”
“I feel that the refugee and asylum process in the UK is horrific and that this project is a wonderful way to make it easier for one family. It feels like the right thing to do.”
What is Community Sponsorship?
Community Sponsorship in a scheme launched by the UK Government in 2016. It is a way that community groups can support the resettlement of vulnerable people fleeing conflict.
The government identifies the most vulnerable people for resettlement in the UK. They prioritise those who cannot be supported effectively in their region of origin: women and children at risk, survivors of torture and others.
How does it work?
We have to work through a process which involves: raising funds, making an application to the Home Office and finding a suitable home. If our application is accepted, we will then support the family to get set up in a new country and begin their lives here.
Where we’re at in the process
As of the end of January 2022, we’re nearly half-way there in raising the £9000 required to submit an application. This money is used as a buffer to support the family on arrival. It can be used for things like furnishing a home, topping up rental prices, paying for interpreters, and any other costs that come up.
In order to raise funds, we’re having a sale of limited edition art prints via renowned contemporary Scottish artists. Taking inspiration from Lochwinnoch’s unique status as an RSPB site and the theme of ‘birds’, the portfolio incorporates illustration, poetry, painting and collage.
You can find out more and pick up a piece of artwork on our online shop: https://www.lochwinnochwelcomes.com/shop. You can also see the works on display in the window of The Workspace at 39 High Street.
We are also hosting a performance of The Moira Monologues, written and performed by Alan Bissett. Lochwinnoch resident Alan Bissett's 'one-woman show' has left audiences and reviewers all over the country weak with laughter since it's debut in 2009. This will be the first time in three years that he has performed it, so don't miss the chance to catch a genuine Scottish original.
The event will take place at the Lochwinnoch Golf Club on Friday 4 February. Book your tickets here.
Find out more
You can find out more - and make a donation to the project - by visiting: www.lochwinnochwelcomes.com. You can also sign up for our newsletter for all the latest.