Council thanks charities that have stepped up to help Afghan refugees in Northamptonshire

“It’s amazing to know that everyone is willing to pull together when it counts, to make sure appropriate assistance is available”

Thursday, 16th September 2021, 3:27 pm
Updated Thursday, 16th September 2021, 3:28 pm
Refugees arriving at Heathrow. (File picture).

A number of charities have stepped up to help Afghan refugees as they arrive in Northamptonshire.

West Northamptonshire Council is now thanking the organisations that have supported its resettlement programme.

According to the council, since before the area welcomed its first arrivals, the British Red Cross and Salvation Army have provided ‘a huge amount of logistical support’.

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Now more than 200 refugees are in temporary accommodation at two hotels in the county, many of them families with young children.

The British Red Cross (BRC) has helped organise reception activities for new arrivals, collect information about their immediate needs and offer transport where required.

Paul Hebborn, BRC emergency response officer, said: “We have been supporting the Afghan resettlement programme from the arrivals at the UK airports and then onwards, supporting our council colleagues in West Northamptonshire.

“The cooperation we have had during the Covid crisis has meant we were able to link in straight away and assist where needed.”

The Salvation Army has been able to provide spaces for children to play and families to gather, co-ordinate donations and manage requests for support.

Tim Stone, Salvation Army Church Leader, added: “We’re very pleased to do our part in the community to support the vulnerable and needy at this time.

“The local reaction is an example of willingness and dedication at its very best and we are just glad to be a part of it.”

Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire launched a GoFundMe page on August 29 in a bid to raise £15,000 to provide further aid and is well over halfway there.

Councillor David Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Engagement, and Regulatory Services, continued: “Many of our voluntary sector partners have stepped up to help during this challenging time.

“Our staff are working flat out to provide the right support to people at the right times, and that would be all but impossible without the kind of help we’ve had from local charities.

“Some of our visitors have quite complex needs and we are gradually getting an understanding of what those are.

“The trauma suffered by some families can’t be overestimated, so it’s amazing to know that everyone is willing to pull together when it counts, to make sure appropriate assistance is available.

“We’ve already highlighted the amazing offers of support that have been coming through from people across Northamptonshire and I’ll be eternally grateful for all of them.”

Donations can be made to the Voluntary Impact GoFundMe here and other pledges of support can be made on the council’s website here.