Donations for Afghan refugees fleeing country paused as residents go above and beyond to help

Donation points set up for Afghan refugees across the whole of Essex have paused receiving more items due to the “overwhelming kindness of residents”.

Essex County Council announced via their Facebook page today six donation points which were opened last week in Colchester, Chelmsford, Dunmow and Stansted have been stopped taking donations.

The authority also said they would update the public when the centres are ready to receive more donations.

Read more: Council in talks to set up family sized homes for Afghan refugees fleeing Taliban regime

A post on the Essex County Council Facebook page read: “Following an appeal for donations of items and clothes for individuals arriving from Afghanistan, donations are now paused due to the overwhelming kindness of our residents.

“We kindly ask that you do not take donations to these centres. We will update this page as soon as these donation points are ready to begin receiving donations again.

“A massive thank you to everyone supporting this appeal. You’re really making a difference to those who are going through an extremely difficult and challenging time.”

Last week the council said it had been “inundated” with requests from residents to donate items to those fleeing the new Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

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Six donation centres were opened across Colchester, Chelmsford, Dunmow and Stansted. The council is now asking residents not to take donations to these centres until told otherwise.

These are:

  • Refugee Action Colchester, 15 Queen Street, Colchester, CO12PH
  • Community 360, Winsley’s House, High Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1UG
  • Chelmsford Community Resilience Hub
  • Hamptons Sports and Leisure Centre, Tydemans, Great Baddow, Chelmsford, CM2 9FH
  • Uttlesford Community Hub, 45 Stortford Road, Great Dunmow, Essex, CM6 1DQ
  • Touchpoint Day Centre, Crafton Green House, Chapel Hill, Stansted CM24 8AB

The items that were most needed included:

  • Clean clothing and underwear for adults, children and teenagers of all ages
  • Toiletries, including toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, sanitary items, shower gel
  • Baby milk and nappies
  • General essentials/consumables
  • Toys and entertainment for children and young people

This follows support from several Essex districts for the Government’s Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP).

Leader of Essex County Council Kevin Bentley (Con, Stanway and Pyefleet) said in a statement: “Individuals and families arriving from Afghanistan have gone through unimaginable experiences and our thoughts are with them as they start to adjust to a new and unfamiliar place.

“We have been overwhelmed but not surprised by the outpouring of support we have seen from residents and communities across Essex looking to do their bit to help those going through an extremely difficult and challenging time.

“We remain committed to working with partners to ensure that anyone arriving in Essex has the support they need and that their welfare is protected at all times.

“I’d like to thank you anyone who has already donated what they can, as well as everyone involved in working around the clock to make sure these individuals and families have the support they need.”

Essex Live – Colchester