Hampshire charity Community First co-ordinates donation efforts for Afghan families fleeing the Taliban
DONATIONS for Afghan families fleeing their war-torn homes are being co-ordinated to ensure everyone gets what they need – and organisers say they have been overwhelmed by the support offered in Hampshire so far.
Hampshire County Council has appointed Community First to lead the refugee effort, working alongside the British Red Cross, NHS, local councils and charities.
The UK aims to settle around 5,000 Afghan nationals, with Hampshire also saying it will take up to 22 families of guides and translators who helped British forces.
A further seven translator families have also moved into the Portsmouth area since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan.
Community First has set up collection sites across the county, and has received so much support that donations have been temporarily halted.
CEO Tim Houghton said: 'Since being tasked by the county council to manage the collection and distribution of donated items in support of those Afghan families arriving in Hampshire, we have seen such immense community spirit and generosity.
‘We have been overwhelmed with the warm welcome and offers of support that have been received for the evacuated families, and we are extremely proud to be at the hub of the Hampshire community, co-ordinating our region’s collective operations.
‘Up and down the county, local communities are coming together to do what they can to try and make the lives of families that have found themselves in a very difficult situation, slightly more bearable.
‘I would like to take the time to say how truly grateful my organisation and I are for the all the help we have received over the last two weeks.’
Evacuees are currently in temporary accommodation, according to the charity, and have already received initial donations of clothing and toiletries.
Permanent accommodation is on the horizon and at that stage, the charity will let people know what other items might be needed for donation.
‘We have a plentiful supply of clothing and we are now asking those wishing to donate to perhaps consider supermarket vouchers or mobile top up vouchers,’ said Mr Houghton.
‘These are good way to support the families and would be most gratefully received. Donations like these enable parents, particularly mothers, ensure that their families have the items they deem as a priority to their particular needs.’