Remarkable response from Royal Borough’s residents to plea for donations to support Afghan refugees

Published

Since setting up a donations drop-off point to support Afghan refugees due to arrive in the area under the national resettlement scheme, the Royal Borough has been overwhelmed by the heart-warming generosity of the local community.

During the first three days alone, more than 300 bags of donations, including clothing and baby items, have now been sorted and categorised to ensure that items can be quickly dispatched to those in need. 

Due to this remarkable response, council now asks that in-kind donations are limited to:
-    Household moving packs including pots, pans, crockery and cutlery
-    Baby basics equipment including bottles and nappies
-    School uniform including children’s shoes
-    New, packaged underwear for men, women and children of all ages
-    Toiletries
-    Strong storage containers to enable the creation of property start-up sets

In-kind donations of the above items can be taken to the council’s drop-off point out the front of John West House, Unit 5, The Quadrant, Howarth Road, Maidenhead, SL6 1AP.

Any future in-kind donations which are surplus to the needs of Afghan refugees resettling in the local area will be distributed to wider refugee groups or homeless households in need. 

Donations of items can be made during daylight hours. Due to social distancing, please do not knock at the door of John West House but place your donation directly into the labelled donation containers.

Those wishing to make cash donations to help refugees are asked to give to the Slough Refugee Support, an established charity which provides practical help to refugees across the Thames Valley.

Donations can be made online at www.sloughrefugeesupport.org.uk where there is further information about ways to donate, or you can call 01753 537142 for more information. Monetary donations should be referenced “Afghan refugees”.

Councillor Andrew Johnson, the council leader, said: “We set up the donations drop-off point on Friday after people got in touch asking how they can donate to the relief effort, and we have since been overwhelmed by the remarkable response and heart-warming generosity from the community. Thank you.     

“The Royal Borough is participating in the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy, providing safe refuge to Afghan staff who supported UK operations and HM Armed Forces in Afghanistan and whose lives are now sadly under serious threat.

“As a compassionate borough, I am so proud of the way we are responding swiftly and compassionately, as a community and a council, to this national call for support, and we will ensure that the donations find their way quickly to help those in need.”  

Jean Kelly, chair of trustees at Slough Refugee Support, said: "Here at Slough Refugee Support we are very grateful for the opportunity to work with the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead in supporting refugees from Afghanistan. Our thoughts are constantly with those fleeing Afghanistan and seeking refuge in a safe haven.

“We will use our wealth of experience in assisting the council as much as we can in ensuring we give a very warm and practical welcome to the families the Royal Borough is sponsoring."