It takes a village to welcome a family.

We are a Community Sponsorship group centred in Hassocks and extending to Hurst, Keymer & Ditchling. We are working to welcome a refugee family to the area and help them settle into our community. Join us! 

South Downs Refugee Project

We are a group of volunteers who are proud of where we live, and would love to welcome a refugee family into our community. We want to offer them a fresh start here under the Community Sponsorship scheme. 

It’s early days, and we have lots to do, so please have a read through the various ways you can support the project and sign up for future news and opportunities to get involved.

We’d love to hear from you! 


Community Sponsorship

Community Sponsorship is a scheme set up by the government in 2016 which enables the resettlement of refugees, usually (but not always) fleeing the Syrian crisis. 

Drawing on a very successful Canadian model, there are over 150 such groups across the UK now; ordinary people who have come together to enable the resettlement of a family. To date, Community Sponsorship groups across the UK have successfully resettled nearly 500 refugees into local communities.

The work of the group involves fundraising to cover resettlement costs, finding good quality affordable accommodation, and building a local network of volunteers within the community, who support the family throughout their first year in the UK.

The on-going refugee crisis

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) estimates that there are currently 26 million refugees who cannot go home because of continued conflict, wars and persecution. Around half of these are children under the age of 18.

Whilst the Covid-Brexit era has meant that we aren’t hearing as much about refugees and displaced people on the news, this does not mean that the problem has gone away.

Many refugees live in perilous situations, have experienced trauma or have specific needs that cannot be addressed in the country where they have sought initial protection.

These numbers are, of course, unfathomable and daunting. We are determined to make our own small contribution by working together to resettle a refugee family in our local area. Giving them a new start, safety, and a community network that is ready to welcome and support them.

Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan

Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. © Dominic Chavez/World Bank. Used under CC licence, with thanks.

 Get involved with SDRP

There are plenty of ways to support the project…


Achieving the aims of the project will require a big group effort. We need to build a network of local supporters. Sign up here…


We need ring-fenced funds in order to be able to resettle and support a refugee family. A cash donation helps us reach our fundraising goal.


We can’t do it alone! If you’d like to fundraise for SDRP, or get some more information for your school, workplace or organisation, please get in touch.


We need to  find suitable local accommodation, and secure a min. 2 year lease. We would love to hear from landlords in the area who might want to hear more…


We need your help in spreading the word and building our network.  Please connect with our social channels, and let your friends know about the project.

Join the Supporters mailing list

Please sign up for our mailing list for news on fundraising activities and events, and updates on the project as we move forward.

 Your data will stay on the SDRP contacts list, and will not be shared with any 3rd parties. Please see our Privacy Policy for more info. 

News & Events

Read more about the project’s progress and what’s coming up

Can you help us raise £25,000? 

We have now raised our minimum sum to enable us to proceed with our application to the Home Office. Thankyou. 

We are now budgeting for the project to cover the first two years following the family’s arrival. The funds will cover resettlement costs, language tuition, interpretation, and ensure good quality accommodation is affordable to the family over the period.

If you’d like to contribute to welcoming a family into our community please donate via our Just Giving page

Alternatively, if you’d like to fundraise on behalf of SDRP, we’d love to hear from you. Please get in touch.