We have all been shocked and concerned at the happenings in Afghanistan recently and in particular the plight of those who are arriving in the UK under the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Programme (ARAP).
The ARAP programme is specifically aimed at those Afghan nationals whose lives and the lives of their families would be in immediate danger because of their services to the UK Government and British Armed Forces during their time in Afghanistan.
In Wrexham we have committed to provide a safe refuge and warm welcome for up to 10 families.
Wrexham has a long tradition of supporting and welcoming those seeking sanctuary going back to post WWII with our Polish community in Penley. It has been a dispersal area for people seeking asylum for many years and in more recent years has also delivered the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme. As a result the Council and third sector organisations are well prepared to cater for their needs on arrival and assist those that begin their lives in Wales and adjust to living in a different culture very different to their own.
We are continuing to work with the third sector including the casework support provider British Red Cross, AVOW and refugee support organisations to establish what the exact needs are as families arrive.
There’s also a need for self-contained family properties in the Wrexham area and we’re appealing directly to landlords who can help to please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss further.
Cllr Hugh Jones, Lead Member for Communities, Partnerships, Public Protection and Community Safety, said, “Understandably, people have been moved to offer support to those who will be arriving in Wrexham and elsewhere over the coming weeks and months and we’re all truly heartened by people’s generosity.
“Whilst there may be a need for certain items in the fullness of time we would encourage any offers of donations to be made via existing local charities and organisations who can ensure they reach the people who need them, including those resettled from Afghanistan.”
There are a number of refugee support organisations and charities that receive and coordinate donations for people seeking sanctuary. Caseworkers are able to request specific items from them; the sorts of things that help to make a house a home. Donations can then be matched directly to families. Some of the charities are listed below:
UAREUK (United to Assist Refugees UK) are a charity (registered number 1169738) who work very closely with British Red Cross and other organisations to support families in Wrexham, and also provide support to refugees and asylum seekers in other countries.
They have a Facebook group which they use to make specific requests for items and anyone wanting to help in this way can apply to become a member of their group and keep up to date with what’s needed and where it can be taken. For general donations, UAREUK’s current ‘What’s Needed’ list can be found on their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/groups/uareuk. Their website at www.uareuk.com also provides a way to donate through organised fundraising activities.
Refugee Kindness – North Wales are a charity (registered number 1192930) offering support to refugees, asylum seekers and others of equivalent need across the North Wales region. They describe themselves as: facilitating the donation of household items, clothing and other items to the families they support as well as offering kindness generally in the form of befriending, guidance and signposting.
Refugee Kindness – North Wales works closely with other organisations across the region. Refugee Kindness – North Wales can be contacted at email@example.com or by messaging through the Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/RefugeeKindness
SHARE are a charity (registered number 1166530) based in Mold and Chester support refugees and asylum seekers locally and internationally. They also cover the Wrexham area and work closely with British Red Cross and other organisations to support refugees and asylum seeker families in Wrexham.
They are not accepting general donations at the moment due to the amount of items they already have available, however their Facebook pages and website also lists other ways in which people can donate and offer support:
Another way to help could be to consider donating your time as a charity volunteer.
John Gallanders Chief Officer of AVOW said “To assist in the support for these organisations providing support locally there are often volunteering opportunities for people who have time that they can offer to help other. We recommend that individuals either link direct to the above contacts or look on www.volunteering-wales.net where you will find a range of opportunities listed. This will ensure people are matched to organisations when necessary” or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org tel 01978 312556.
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