A REFUGEE family is set to be resettled in west Dorset thanks to a sponsorship scheme.

The Uplyme Community Sponsorship scheme has received confirmation from the Home Office that it has been selected to receive a Syrian family.

Whilst the selection process and visa formalities are still to be carried out, the group expects to be able to welcome the family to Uplyme next year.

It has been a frustrating year for the volunteers who make up the Uplyme Community Sponsorship team. They were all set up to give a fresh start to a family in March, with a decorated and furnished house with volunteers on standby to help and support the family.

Sarah Uppard, co-founder of Uplyme Community Sponsorship, said: "For the core team and volunteers it has been a frustrating eight months - back in March we were ready to start.

"We had the house, the funds, the volunteers, in fact, everything needed to give a Syrian family a fresh start in Uplyme. Fortunately, we have been able to find short term tenants for the property so the house has not stood empty."

She added: “We’d like to send out our enormous thanks to all our supporters and volunteers for their practical and financial assistance and for sticking with the scheme throughout this difficult period. Now we can all look forward to putting all that hard work and preparation to good use when we hopefully welcome our Syrian family to Uplyme in 2021.”

Community Sponsorship is a refugee resettlement programme which relies on the support of local people. It enables residents to welcome a refugee family into their area and support them as they rebuild their lives.

Hundreds of refugees have now been sponsored across the country and Community Sponsorship groups are active in every region of the UK.

The Uplyme group intentionally suspended its fundraising activities during the lockdown as members thought 'people already had enough to worry about' but are now welcoming donations again.

To learn more about the scheme or to make a donation, visit www.uplymecommunitysponsorship.org.uk