Oxfordshire County Council are working with South Oxfordshire District Council to support Afghan people arriving in the area by joining up with Asylum Welcome who are hosting a wish list for specific items needed for the refugees and asylum seekers.
People have been very generous in contributing an array of items that have been welcomed by those in temporary accommodation and those who initially arrived in the country at RAF Brize Norton before being transported elsewhere. Soft toys, sanitary items and clothing have proved very useful.
The wish list can be found at Amazon.co.uk . Items that are being requested include various items of clothing and shoes, sanitary products and headphones. The page will make clear when donations have been received to a level that means no more are required.
Asylum Welcome supports refugees and asylum seekers in Oxford and Oxfordshire. Volunteers, members, supporters and staff work to help people who have arrived in the county to live with respect and dignity and give valuable advice and support as they adjust to life in their new country. The charity has been assisting local councils ever since Afghan people started arriving in the UK in August.
Asylum Welcome Chief Executive Mark Goldring said: “Our Afghan guests are very gradually adjusting to their new circumstances having left their home country in very traumatic circumstances. The items being requested on the Amazon wishlist we are hosting with support from Oxfordshire’s local councils are reflective of the fact that they are now beyond the very initial period after their arrival in the UK although still obviously in their early days in a new country. We hope that people can help with the items listed.
“If we receive as overwhelming a response as we saw when the Afghan people first arrived in this country then it may be that this appeal only lasts a short time. However it may also be that the page is updated when we need new items as different needs arise.
“As has been said before by our local councils we hope that people will understand when we say we don’t want to discuss the specific locations that they are in here in Oxfordshire, the numbers here or any other detailed aspect. We need to give them the time, space and privacy after what they’ve been through.”
Cllr Sue Cooper, Leader of South Oxfordshire District Council said: “As we welcome Afghan refugees to the county, we must continue to do what we can to enable them to settle into a new life here in South Oxfordshire.
“Working alongside our partners across the county in this co-ordinated response means that the generous donations made by our residents so far will go to those who need them most. I am pleased that we are able to continue supporting the refugees alongside Asylum Welcome and encourage those who can donate items to do so through the Amazon wishlist.”
Councillor Liz Leffman, the leader of Oxfordshire County Council, said: “Our partners at Asylum Welcome are experts at dealing with donations and working with new arrivals in the country and we are grateful for their involvement. I would once again like to thank people for the way they have responded – it reflects the generous and kind-hearted nature of Oxfordshire people and reflects very well on this great county of ours.”