Donations flood in to Weston collection for Afghan refugees

North Somerset Council has pledged to work closely with the Home Office to help refugee families resettle locally.  

A Weston mum has organised a drop-off point at St Paul's Church to help Afghan refugees. - Credit: North Somerset Council

A Weston mum has received more than 2,500 donated items after organising a charity project to help refugees fleeing Afghanistan.

Cathy Barclay has been using her home as a donation centre for the past week before moving all the items to St Paul's Church, on Walliscote Road.

Mrs Barclay told the Mercury that she decided to donate after sorting through her son's old clothes.

She said: "Like many people, I was having a 'Covid clearout' and going through clothes that were not being worn anymore.

"After seeing the events in Afghanistan, I thought I should help in some way for those families and eventually decided to put a message on Facebook asking for other donations."

How to donate to Afghan refugees in Weston

Cathy is currently storing more than 2500 items in her home. - Credit: Cathy Barclay

After doing so, Cathy soon had dozens of people contacting her to help with the cause.

She added: "It reminded me that the people of Weston can be so compassionate.

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"Pretty soon more than 40 people had reached out and the number has grown."

An arrangement has been made with St Paul's Church to hold a drop-off later this month before all collected items are taken to Taunton's Care4Calais charity.

Currently, close to 3,000 items have been donated by 179 people in Weston.

Weston mum collects 3000 items for Afghan refugees

Donations can be made at St Paul's Church later this month. - Credit: ROC

UK charity, Redeeming Our Communities (ROC) Weston has worked alongside Mrs Barclay and has asked for volunteers to help with transporting goods to Taunton.

Group leader, Penny Hynds said: “We, like so many, have been horrified and deeply moved by the horrendous plight of the Afghans in recent weeks and, aside from praying, many of our members wanted to do something practical.

"Therefore, we were delighted to be connected to Cathy who is driving the initiative of collecting donations across the town and then will drive them to Care4Calais in Taunton who will ensure they are distributed to the refugees currently isolating in the UK and specifically within the South West.

"We are currently seeking a van to transport the overwhelming amount of donations expected and if any van hire is able to donate this, please make contact with Cathy or me on 07974 029848."

For information on what to donate and how, visit www.facebook.com/ROCWestonsupermare

St Paul's Church's drop off point will run from 3-7pm on September 13.

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