People in Oxfordshire are being asked to make donations of very specific items to help Afghan people currently being looked after in the county after their recent arrival in the UK.
As is the case throughout the country Oxfordshire is playing host to a number of Afghan people in temporary accommodation as a prelude to them moving into more stable accommodation once central Government has allocated families and individuals to appropriate homes either locally or elsewhere.
The people of the county have been very generous in contributing an array of items that have been welcomed by those in temporary accommodation and those who initially arrived in the country at RAF Brize Norton before being transported elsewhere. Soft toys, sanitary items and clothing have proved very useful.
Earlier in September the county council announced that it would work with district and city council partners and the charity Asylum Welcome to publish an Amazon wishlist should any further very specific items be needed in due course.
That list is being hosted by Asylum Welcome and has now been published and can be found at Amazon.co.uk. Items that are being requested include various items of clothing and shoes, sanitary products and headphones. The page will make clear when donations have been received to a level that means no more are required.
Asylum Welcome supports refugees and asylum seekers in Oxford and Oxfordshire. Volunteers, members, supporters and staff work enable to help people who have arrived in the county to live with the respect and dignity and give valuable advice and support as they adjust to life in their new country. The charity has been assisting local councils ever since Afghan people started arriving in the UK in August.
“Our Afghan guests are very gradually adjusting to their new circumstances having left their home country in very traumatic circumstances. The items being requested on the Amazon wishlist we are hosting with support from Oxfordshire’s local councils are reflective of the fact that they are now beyond the very initial period after their arrival in the UK although still obviously in their early days in a new country. We hope that people can help with the items listed.
“If we receive as overwhelming a response as we saw when the Afghan people first arrived in this country then it may be that this appeal only lasts a short time. However it may also be that the page is updated when we need new items as different needs arise.
“As has been said before by our local councils we hope that people will understand when we say we don’t want to discuss the specific locations that they are in here in Oxfordshire, the numbers here or any other detailed aspect. We need to give them the time, space and privacy after what they’ve been through."
Asylum Welcome Chief Executive Mark Goldring
“Over the past few weeks we have been working closely with our partners from across Oxfordshire to prepare for the arrival of refugees to Oxford and to ensure that we can do everything in our power to help them. We have been moved by the kindness and compassion of many Oxford residents who have come forward to offer their support to those in need. The items included on this wish list have been carefully identified by Asylum Welcome, in order to ensure that Afghan refugees can get the exact items they need in order to restart their lives. If you are able to, I encourage you to get involved and donate. It may not be much for you, but to a refugee in need, it will mean everything.”
Councillor Shaista Aziz, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Communities, Oxford City Council