Hythe Community Sponsorship Information Evening

June 1, 2018
July 4, 2018 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
United Reformed Church
East St
Hythe CT21 5ND
Callum McKenna
01303 268792

Hythe is preparing to welcome a Syrian family to the community under the UK government’s sponsorship scheme.

A steering group to manage the initiative is in place and the search is now on to find other volunteers. There are lots of tasks and it is anticipated to set up working groups for finance/fund-raising, for ensuring that the property is furnished and up to scratch, and putting together a resettlement package which includes language classes, orientation to the local area and which will help the family feel quickly integrated into local life. The aim is to welcome the new family in the first half of next year.

This public meeting  will set out the progress to-date, what’s involved and how people can help.


An initial well-attended public meeting was held last year to gauge the level of interest in such an initiative from local residents. There was a clear consensus and enthusiasm from those in attendance to proceed.

Since then, advice has been taken from other communities that have sponsored families, within what is now a tried and tested national UK programme. Local Kent County Council member, Martin Whybrow, has also liaised with KCC to ensure the local authority’s support.

The steering group will be chaired by Lt Callum McKenna of Hythe Salvation Army. The main sponsoring organisation needs to be a registered charity and the Salvation Army will take this role but there is also strong buy-in from local churches and community groups.

Importantly, through a local community landlord who is supportive of the scheme, a prospective suitable property has been identified for the family, for which the steering group is extremely grateful.

Callum comments: “We are not under-estimating the amount of work involved in the government’s sponsorship scheme but are hugely encouraged by the goodwill of so many local people as well as the advice of others who have already done this. It is a big responsibility but also very rewarding, to provide a safe, welcoming environment for a refugee family.” As part of the fact-finding, a visit was made to meet a sponsored family and their supporters in London.

Martin adds: “From the first meeting it was clear that many people wanted to play their part in welcoming a family to our community, providing them with a permanent, secure future that allows them to rebuild their lives after trauma that most of can barely imagine.”

If you would like to find out more or are interested in helping, please come along to the meeting on 4th July or contact Callum on 01303 268 792 or callum.mckenna@salvationarmy.org.uk.


More information about the UK government scheme can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apply-for-full-community-sponsorship