We have all followed the news about several thousand refugees being flown out of Kabul airport in recent weeks. Some of them have come to Brize Norton, some to other U.K. airports. Wherever people may arrive, they are being accommodated in Covid-19 quarantine hotels for ten days, not necessarily in the same region. After this, a few may be housed directly by Councils, but most will go into transition hotels while long-term arrangements are made. We expect that some arrivals will come to Oxfordshire and we are beginning to work alongside Councils to prepare for this.
The County Council is working with the Red Cross and others to ensure that people are welcomed and supported on arrival, and equipped with the basic goods and clothes that they need. The public have already been really generous in supporting these efforts. It is likely that when longer-term arrangements are clearer and we know how many people are coming to the county and where they will be living, more donations of some items and other forms of help will be appreciated.
- Donate to Asylum Welcome here.
- Fundraise for us. Please visit this page or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Volunteer for us by emailing email@example.com with details on your availability, how many hours you can contribute per week and how you would like to help. We are particularly interested to hear from those with professional or language skills. We may not be able to use you immediately, but we will stay in touch. For more information on volunteering and to download our application form visit this page.
- Donate food. We always need food donations for our food bank which is used by all refugees needing assistance. At the moment, we are in urgent need of rice (preferably 1kg bags). We also welcome donations of chopped tomatoes, tinned fish, chickpeas, tinned fruit, tinned sweetcorn, UHT milk and biscuits. Please visit this page or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Offer a room in your house for refugees. Please see Sanctuary Hosting’s website.
You can also read our 12 actions to support refugees here.
For now, the message is that while the public’s generosity and commitment is really appreciated, immediate donations of goods, clothes or furniture are not yet needed.
We will come back with more information when we have it. Do also look at the County Council’s website.
Asylum Welcome is gearing up to play as useful a role as we can: sharing our skills and learning, and mobilising staff and volunteers, especially those with relevant languages. We will offer dedicated support with the transition phase and help with longer-term accommodation and ongoing support. We are linking with community groups and raising funds to cover the costs that public sources don’t.
It is not only new arrivals that we will support. We are already working hard to provide information and practical support to Afghans who are already in Oxfordshire and who are concerned about and want to find routes to safety for their family and friends in Afghanistan.
We will incur additional costs and resources as we provide more support to the Afghan community and to the new arrivals.
If you can donate now to support this work, then please do here.
Thank you so much for your continued support and solidarity.