The Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead is working with a Berkshire charity to coordinate donations to support Afghan refugees due to arrive in the area under a national resettlement scheme.
The council has confirmed to Government that the Royal Borough will accommodate and support two refugee households immediately under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy, and is prepared to welcome further households thereafter.
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”.
For those wishing to make in-kind donations to the charity of everyday household essentials, the council has set up a local donations drop-off point at the front of John West House, Unit 5, The Quadrant, Howarth Road, Maidenhead, SL6 1AP.
People are welcome to donate good-condition clothing for adults and children, toiletries, baby nappies and baby equipment, unwanted toys, and disability aids. Donations of items can be made during daylight hours.
New electrical goods will only be accepted if still sealed in packaging and with receipts. Please do not donate food as meals will be provided based upon the dietary needs of the individuals.
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.
The Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) offers staff who work or worked for the UK in Afghanistan, and are assessed to be under serious threat to life, priority relocation to the UK.
Councillor Andrew Johnson, the council leader, said: “Since we announced earlier this week that we would be providing safe refuge in the Royal Borough for some of the Afghan, there has been a heart-warming response from many local residents and businesses who want to help out by making donations.
“As a council and a community, I am proud of the way we are responding swiftly and compassionately, alongside other towns and cities across the country, to the national call to support the Afghan refugees, who themselves supported UK operations and HM Armed Forces in Afghanistan.
“Slough Refugee Support has an established track record of supporting people who have fled persecution to find sanctuary in our part of the world, and we’re pleased to work with them to ensure people’s generous donations, whether cash or on-kind, 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."