Supporting a Syrian Refugee Family Within Our Community 

Who Are We?

ABIDE was a project that operated under the umbrella of the PCC to support a Syrian family in our community through the Government’s new Community Sponsorship scheme.


Community Sponsorship was introduced by the Home Office in July 2016. The PCC was approved as a community sponsor and ABIDE welcomed a family of 4 into Ottery in September 2017. ABIDE has now fulfilled its 2 year commitment to support the family, who are well integrated into our community and increasingly independent.

Our Story...

ABIDE grew out of desire shared by a number of people within our community to respond practically to the refugee crisis.


The Community Sponsorship scheme offers a way to provide hands-on support to a very vulnerable family, helping them to settle and integrate into our own community. It has also been a blessing to the many people who’ve got involved, helping us to understand a different culture and build better relationships amongst ourselves.


In September 2018, we were thrilled to share in the family’s joy at the birth of a new daughter; they have named her Mary, after our town, Ottery St Mary.

Before the Family's Arrival...

ABIDE made a formal 2 year commitment to support the resettlement of this family. Before the family arrived we:


We raised over £9000 through various fundraising activities  to help meet the family's needs on arrival.

We found suitable housing in the local area where the family could live comfortably while they settled in.


We created a formal plan as to how we would provide the family with long term, wrap-around support.


Life After Arrival...

Since the family arrived in September 2017, ABIDE volunteers have supported the family to:


Learn English


Register their children at a local school


Access healthcare


Benefit from work experience opportunities


Meet people and make friends within the community


Learn to drive


Understand more about the British culture and way of life

about the community sponsorSHIP scheme

We are always keen to encourage other communities to take up the challenge of Community Sponsorship.


Once a group is approved as a Community Sponsor, they receive training to help prepare them for the task, and the Home Office works with UNHCR to identify a refugee family who is suitable for resettlement in their particular community. The Home Office also carries out full security checks on any individuals before they are cleared to arrive in the UK. You can find more information about Community sponsorship here:

Contact Us

If you’d like to find out more about ABIDE or the Community Sponsorship scheme we’d love to hear from you. 

Use the contact form or email -


Sponsor Refugees Website

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The Parochial Church Council of the Ecclesiastical Parish of Ottery St. Mary. Registered Charity: 1133945

Email: churchoffice@otterystmary.org.uk | +44 (0)1404 812062

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