Norwich volunteers plea for Afghan refugee gifts
A Norwich church which is collecting clothes for Afghan refugees, who will be resettled in Norfolk, has been overwhelmed with donations and is now looking for volunteers to help sort them. Keith Morris reports.
Alive Church in Norwich is taking clothing donations for Afghan refugees at its donation hub set up in Chantry Place shopping centre in the city centre. Since the appeal for donations went out the team have been overwhelmed with hundreds of bags of clothes, said church pastor Phil Thorne, and now they need volunteers to help sort them out.
"We are particularly looking for people to sort clothes and anyone with any retail experience to work in a boutique which we want to set up to serve refugees," said Phil.
Jo Thorne from Alive UK said: “Please put clean, laundered clothes in plastic bags into the labelled container. The drop off point opened in July 2021 and also receives donations for others in need in our community.
If you can help as a volunteer, you can message Alive on Facebook here or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Read our previous story on this topic.
Find out more about Alive UK.
Find out other ways you can help the Afghan refugees.
District councils across Norfolk have already started resettling Afghans with more set to arrive in the coming days and weeks, through the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP), for people and their families who supported the military, and the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme, for other people who are being evacuated from the country. The government is providing grant aid to help fund this.
They will be given housing and support and assistance to help them establish their new lives in the UK. This support includes school places for children, physical and mental health support, help to learn English, help registering with local services and help to find jobs.
A refugee fund has been re-launched by the Bishop of Norwich to enable people to donate to refugees from Afghanistan re-settling in Norfolk via the Norfolk County Council scheme.
Bishop Graham Usher said: “The appalling plight of families fleeing Afghanistan has been deeply moving to watch. As we seek to welcome some families to Norfolk and Waveney, I am relaunching the Bishop of Norwich’s refugee fund.
“This fund has given small grants to help with welcoming refugees from Syria and I am now extending it to support Afghans. It does not duplicate support that is provided by the State or other charities but looks for ways to help refugees settle. One example has been buying TV licences that help refugee families learn English and understand British culture and entertainment.
“Your generous support, in loving our suffering neighbours as Jesus asks of us, would be hugely appreciated at this time. Thank you.”
You can donate money to the Bishop's Refugee Fund in these ways:
Donate online through the Diocese of Norwich website
Bank transfer using payment reference Bishop's Refugee Fund, Sort code 20-62-61, Account number 30674508
Cheque made payable to ‘NDBF Ltd’. Please include a covering note to say it’s for the Refugee Fund and post to 109 Dereham Road, Easton, Norwich, NR9 5ES.
Pictured above is Jo Thorne inside the Alive UK donation hub in Chantry Place, Norwich, with racks of donated clothing.