2 March 2018

A community that inspires many – Community Sponsorship at its best

On Sunday 25 February 2018, I had the privilege of joining many others to celebrate 1 year since a community group in Merton, South London welcomed a Syrian family to the United Kingdom through the community sponsorship scheme. The group that welcomed the wonderful Syrian family is exceptionally amazing. To see the joy on the faces of those unsung heroines and heroes of Community Sponsorship of refugees was phenomenal. Everybody who spoke at the event mentioned that by working together to welcome a new family into their neighbourhood, they also strengthened their relationships; felt empowered and fulfilled.  This is simply community sponsorship at its best.

The group is led by Major Nick Coke of Salvation Army who is one of the heroes of the Community Sponsorship scheme in the United Kingdom. Nick has inspired many, supported many others and is always willing to go extra miles to contribute to the success of the scheme. For Nick it is all about delivering social justice and getting stuck in it to deliver. 

This group is blessed as it has lots of amazing people who are never tired and always willing to do more; always willing to inspire others; always willing to find solutions and of course always enjoying what they are doing. Kudos to you all. You have pushed boundaries; brought changes and exceeded expectations. You are all inspirational and have place in the history book as you leave a lasting legacy. A legacy you could be proud of; and, a legacy the next generation could be proud of. 

The Merton Group resettled an amazing Syrian family that is a joy to be around. A family that is never short of smiles and always generous. Of course, this family has also prepared finger-licking food, as usual, for all who were part of the 1-year celebration.  In the words of Kerry Coke, “It takes a family to welcome a community.” Another group member called Mohammed said "it took us all to welcome the family and through the process it helped us to come together"

The Merton group has inspired and equally challenged many as it has now set the bar so high. It is a community that leads by example. A community that inspires  many!

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