Fleetwood councillor's thanks after donations for Afghan refugees

A Fleetwood councillor has thanked people for their kindness after they responded to her call to help Afghan refugees who are set to come Wyre.

Tuesday, 7th September 2021, 4:01 pm
Coun Rachel George with items donated for Afghan refugees

Councillor Rachel George has set up a collection point at her home for new items such as nappies, female hygiene products, toiletries, baby items and small clothes like hats and socks.

Coun George, a Wyre representative for Fleetwood’s Pharos ward and a Fleetwood Town Council member, decided to act after hearing that a small number of refugee families fleeing Afghanistan will be housed in the Wyre area.

The exodus follows the advance of the Taliban fighters into Kabul and many other areas of the country after the withdrawal of American and other NATO forces.

Wyre Council has already confirmed that it is set to offer a similar kind of support to the Afghans that it offered to Syrians during a crisis in that country.

However, there are still no details available from the borough council about numbers or where in the borough they will go.

Coun George said: "The vast majority of people that I have come into contact with have been very positive about trying to help the refugees.

"People have been very kind - they have donated bottles of baby milk, toiletries for women and men and items of clothing.

"I think many of them realise why these refugees have had to flee; many of them have helped the British and would now be in danger in Afghanistan.

"They have had to flee their homes and have been left with nothing."

Coun George, a Wyre Residents member, said she had received some negative comments about helping refugees but these were in the minority.

Wyre Council previously stated: “we are now looking to see how we can support Government Afghan relocation schemes as the situation develops.

“Our priority is to ensure that any relocated families are safe and settled and do what we can to help them become part of the local community.”

A recent call from the Government for urgent support made clear that councils up and down the country must come together to offer shelter, initially to 5,000 refugees in the first

year and a total of 20,000 over five years, under the UK Resettlement Scheme.

Lancashire County chiefs have provided a list of ways Lancashire residents can help newly-arriving refugees from Afghanistan.

A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said: "Many people are asking how they can donate items to newly arriving Afghan families. In Lancashire, the most urgent priority is finding housing. We need houses with 3 beds or more, available for 12 months."

Coun George is still collecting items at her house at 2 Hesketh Place but is looking for other volunteers to be collection points too.

A church in Over Wyre, which is not yet ready to set up the project, has pledged its assistance.