Weston mum thanks community after Afghan refugee donation

Weston mum helps donate 5,000 items to Afghan refugees.

Cathy Barclay's plea resulted in more than 5,000 items being donated to help Afghan refugees. - Credit: Cathy Barclay

A Weston mum has thanked the community for pulling together to donate more than 5,000 items to Afghan refugees.

Cathy Barclay had decided to have a 'Covid clear out', donating any unused clothes from her son's wardrobe to Care4Calais, eventually putting out a message on Facebook asking residents to do the same.

St Paul's Church would then act as a donation centre on September 13 for members of the public to drop in and leave items to be transferred to Taunton for delivery.

MORE: Donations flood in to Weston collection for Afghan refugees

Mrs Barclay told the Mercury that she never imagined reaching this level of support.

She said: "The final count reached 250 bags.

"We counted each bag as we unloaded at the Care4Calais depot at Barnstaple - there was roughly 20 items in each bag, so around 5,000 items.

"I had liaised with the team at Care4Calais depo before I travelled down to Barnstaple depo and they were blown away.

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"I put out one post on Facebook and the response has been phenomenal. I said to my husband when I made the post;  'If I manage to fill our little Fiesta car that would be fantastic' so to end up with 250 bags has blown my expectations out the water."

Weston residents pull together for huge Afghan refugee donation

Pro Rental allowed Cathy to use a large van, free of charge, to transport the 250 bags. - Credit: Cathy Barclay

Cathy's first foray into charity work has left her pondering if there is more for her to do, particularly in Weston.

She confirmed that conversations have taken place with Weston Foodbank but was keen to thank each and every person who helped with this project.

She added: "I would like to thank everybody who donated and supported me over the last few weeks.

"You are all wonderful people and I could not have done this without you all.

"I would like to give a shout out to both Pro Rental hire who provided a large van free of charge for two days, and to St Paul's Church for their time and car park.

"Also, a massive thank you to Penny Hynds for all your help and support and to my husband John and my son, Ethan who coordinated all the loading and unloading.

Afghan refugee crisis: Weston family makes massive donation

Cathy's husband and son helped coordinate the delivery. - Credit: Cathy Barclay

"Last, by no mean least thank you to all my wonderful volunteers who loaded up and lifted and carried all those bags.

"These donations will really make a difference to children and families fleeing Afghanistan."

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