West Northamptonshire Council has publicly thanked residents for their 'extremely generous' offers of support for refugees under the government's Afghan resettlement scheme.
Two county hotels closed to the public back in September to welcome up to 320 Afghanistan refugees and the council released a list of items desperately needed to support them in response to members of the public asking how they can help.
The council, this afternoon (October 27), announced that partners working on the relief effort have received a total of 485 offers of help from members of the public and businesses in Northamptonshire to date, and that it is now unable to accept any further donations of items.
West Northamptonshire Council Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Engagement and Regulatory Services, councillor David Smith, said: “We’ve been astounded at the level and kind of support people have offered.
“The feedback we’ve had from families is that they are so grateful for the welcome they’ve had in West Northamptonshire and I couldn’t be prouder of everyone’s response.
“As we continue to look at more permanent arrangements for our guests, further support is likely to be required and we’ll continue to outline that as and when we can.
“For now, though, we’re having to stop taking physical donations as immediate needs such as clothes have now been met.”
The overwhelming support for the refugees in Northamptonshire was a huge partnership effort by a range of agencies including local authorities, health and emergency services as well as the voluntary sector.
The Salvation Army charity co-ordinated many of the donations and Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire set up an online fundraiser with the goal to raise £15,000 to provide frontline advice and support to the refugee families arriving in Northamptonshire. They have so far raised £11,375 of their £15,000 goal.
The council are continuing to work through outstanding offers of community support, housing, befriending, education and employment and they have said they will continue to liaise with individuals and local businesses, who might be able to help with additional requirements in the future.
The Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire Resettlement Appeal Fund is still open and those wanting to donate can do so by visiting https://www.gofundme.com/f/Afghan-Citizens-Resettlement-Appeal-Fund