People have been amazing in offering support to refugees
A Stratford group supporting refugees from Afghanistan has been overwhelmed with donations from generous residents.
Stratford Welcome Here set up a collection for clothing and shoes last Tuesday and within four days had received countless items at its collection point at the Quaker Meeting House.
The group has now paused its collections as it awaits further guidance on exactly what items refugees may need when they get to Warwickshire.
In addition to the clothing collections Stratford Welcome Here has also been running its own fundraising page, already smashing its initial £5,000 target.
That money will be used to buy things such as underwear, socks and any additional essential items that may be needed.
Roger Matthews, chair of Stratford Welcome Here, said: “We have been working to support Syrian refugees coming to the district for about five years now and the county council recently got in contact to ask if we would co-ordinate the community response to help those coming from Afghanistan.
“In three days we’ve received probably as many donations as we need at this stage, people have just been incredible. We’ve also managed to source a number of push chairs and buggies because we know that mothers with babies are coming to Warwickshire, and we’ve got so many toys too.
“The refugees that have arrived so far have been in quarantine for some days, but we know people were leaving Afghanistan up until the end of August, so we’re not quite sure how many will need our help right now. Many of those arriving in the county are expected to eventually be resettled in other parts of the country with established Afghan communities, but some may remain in Warwickshire and I know the district council has made a commitment to resettle some here.”
Around 180 people are on Stratford Welcome Here’s mailing list and many of those volunteers who have helped make Syrian families in the district over the past few years, are now helping those coming from Afghanistan.
Having reached its fundraising target the group has now paused collections on its JustGiving page as it awaits further information on what further support refugees may need.