It sounds like something out of a Charles Dickens novel, a poor refugee family finally finding peace with the help of a rich, cheerful donor or — in this case — the Archbishop of Canterbury. Justin Welby has opened up the doors to his historic London residence and is the first to sponsor a refugee family under a new scheme which was announced on July 19.
The Full Community Sponsorship scheme will enable community groups — including charities, faith groups, churches and businesses — to take on the role of supporting resettled refugees in the UK.
Amber Rudd, UK Home Secretary, recently appointed by Theresa May PM, said that the scheme was put in place due to the public response to the migrant crisis last year.
"The response of the British public to the refugee crisis has been one of overwhelming generosity and many have been moved to make kind offers of assistance," said Rudd in a statement.
A spokesman for the Home Office said that this scheme is a groundbreaking new development for resettlement in the UK and they wholeheartedly encourage organizations that can help to offer their support.
"We hope that this new approach will help bring communities together and support these often traumatized and vulnerable families as they rebuild their lives, and contribute to and thrive in our country," a spokesperson for the Home Office told Sputnik.
The Home Office said that sponsors will provide housing for the refugee family, as well as helping them to integrate into UK life, access medical and social services, arrange English language tuition and support them towards employment and self-sufficiency.
"Lambeth Palace is the first community group to be approved to receive a refugee family and the government is working with a number of prospective sponsors and local authorities to enable their participation," a spokesperson for the Home Office told Sputnik.
Justin Welby said that the scheme presents churches and other civil society groups with the opportunity to provide sanctuary to those fleeing war-torn areas.
"Refugees, like all people, are treasured human beings, made in the image of God, who deserve safety, freedom and the opportunity to flourish," the Archbishop of Canterbury said in a statement.
@ukhomeoffice There are 1000s Christian refugees being overlooked because they don't live in UN camps cos Muslims Attack them. Stop the bias— OutMeansOut (@yjdhillhead) July 19, 2016
"It is an enormous privilege to welcome a family to live in a cottage in the grounds of Lambeth Palace. I am hugely grateful to the Home Office and Lambeth Council for their tireless work and support in enabling this to happen."