A welcoming event for Afghan refugee families has been held in Northampton.
The event, which was planned by St Peter and St Paul Church in Abington, was intended to extend the hand of friendship to the Afghan community. This was especially for the men, the women and children who have recently arrived as refugees from Afghanistan.
It forms part of ongoing efforts by organisations in Northamptonshire to accommodate the families displaced from their home country of Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover back in August. These efforts have included donations of clothes, as well as health screenings to make sure the families are staying healthy.
As part of the event, parishioners and Reverend Jun Kim organised small groups to go out into Abington Park, where they were shown the ready access they could have to the space. Afghan families were shown the scented gardens, as well as the bandstand, the aviary and the play areas.
Councillor Danielle Stone, attending in her role as part of Northampton Town of Sanctuary, says she enjoyed the event and was taught how to say "pikhair rah-lay", meaning welcome in Pashto.
The councillor said: "I attended because I have been supporting the church with the programme. I have been asking local people and organisations to think about how they can support refugees and make them welcome.
"The children and the youth had a great time expending energy playing. The adults appreciated the beauty of our park and the warmth of the welcome.
"The families now know where the park is and what it has to offer. They will be able to make their own way there if they want to. We are also looking into informal support with conversational English with volunteers from the church."
The event marks another step along a no-doubt challenging road for those families forced to flee their homes.