Call for donations for Afghan refugees fleeing 'fear and violence'

Jen O’Reilly-Turner, from Refugee Help Sudbury, and donations the group collected for Syrian refugees in 2015.

Jen O’Reilly-Turner, from Refugee Help Sudbury, and donations the group collected for Syrian refugees in 2015 - Credit: Jen O’Reilly-Turner/Refugee Help Sudbury

A refugee support group in West Suffolk has sprung into action to help those fleeing the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Refugee Help Sudbury has made a call for essential items to be donated, which can be passed to any Afghan refugees coming into the town and surrounding area. 

The Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan has sparked a mass evacuation from the country, as Western forces prepare to withdraw next week.

In 2015, Refugee Help Sudbury collected more than 1,000 bags of clothes and essentials for Syrian refugees. 

Donations made when the group last helped refugees from Syria back in 2015.

Donations made when the group last helped refugees from Syria back in 2015 - Credit: Refugee Help Sudbury

Jen O’Reilly-Turner, who is heading up the group with a small team of helpers, said the offers of help for Afghan refugees were already coming in thick and fast.

People had been full of “positivity and kindness”, she said.

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She added: “We can only imagine the fear and violent circumstances which drive people to exercise their human right to flee war and terror and seek refuge for their families in another country many miles from home. 

“Whether these human beings have crossed the Channel on a dinghy, escaped from Afghanistan by air or crossed thousands of miles by foot from Syria to seek safety, the very least we can do is to provide a welcoming a caring environment for them and feed, clothe and house them and their families at this time of need.” 

Jen O’Reilly-Turner, who heads up Refugee Help Sudbury.

Jen O’Reilly-Turner, who heads up Refugee Help Sudbury - Credit: Jen O’Reilly-Turner

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Refugee Help Sudbury is also looking for drop-off points and storage facilities for the expected influx of donations. 

Sudbury Scout hut, in Quay Lane, will be a drop-off location for Sunday, September 19. The group's Facebook page will be updated with details of others.

The Facebook page has more than 700 members and many are already offering clothes and more. 

Top of the ‘wanted’ list are clean, wearable clothes and toiletries mainly for women, children and teenagers but men’s items are welcome too. 

Anyone who has any clothes should sort out similar sizes and types into bags which can quickly and easily be distributed. 

Donations for Syrian refugees in 2015.

Donations for Syrian refugees in 2015 - Credit: Refugee Help Sudbury

Jen added: “Regardless of politics, the UK and in particular East Anglia, has been a safe haven for refugees for centuries. 

“Children arriving in Harwich on the Kindertransport fleeing from Nazi terror in Germany in the 1930s were welcomed and hopefully the families arriving in the UK now will be able to feel welcome and cared for in the same way.” 

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