Afghan crisis: £75,000 appeal launched for refugees arriving in Hertfordshire
Residents in Hertfordshire are being encouraged to donate to a £75,000 online appeal in support of Afghan families arriving in the county.
‘Hertfordshire helps Afghan arrivals and refugees’ has been set up on JustGiving by grant-giving body the Hertfordshire Community Foundation (HCF), on behalf of a wider local voluntary and public sector response co-ordinated by the county council.
All money raised will go to support Afghans staying in Hertfordshire temporarily and in the longer term.
The HCF says: "As the political uncertainty in Afghanistan continues to escalate, Hertfordshire Community Foundation is turning its efforts to help support Afghan arrivals and refugees who have been relocated to safety in Hertfordshire.
"Funds raised will be distributed to local groups and organisations providing a broad range of assistance and support, from the provision of essential items to longer-term employability skills, language skills, family support and community integration."
Among the first donors, Cath Shepherd said: "Everyone affected by this appalling situation is very much in my thoughts."
Laura Wood added: "Thanks to everyone who is giving up their time and skills to help." And Andrew Hadfield-Ames said: "Such a great cause to support in Hertfordshire."
Establishment of the appeal follows news on Wednesday (August 25) that the first Afghan refugees fleeing the Taliban have arrived in Hertfordshire. According to the county council, "a number of these individuals and families" are being housed in three hotels in the county while they wait for permanent homes across the UK.
Hertfordshire County Council leader Cllr Richard Roberts said: “The people of Hertfordshire have shown incredible generosity in response to the unfolding situation in Afghanistan and we've been overwhelmed with physical offers to support those arriving in the county.
"We are now asking that no further donations of items are made at this time and instead I would encourage anyone wishing to support Afghans arriving in the county to make a donation to HCF’s appeal.
“The launch of this official fundraising page will enable voluntary sector organisations to support those in need as newly arrived Afghans adapt to their new circumstances and life in Hertfordshire."
Helen Gray, director of Hertfordshire Community Foundation, said: “HCF has supported local residents for over 30 years and we are keen to help Hertfordshire’s newest arrivals as they flee the conflict in Afghanistan.”
Hertfordshire Community Foundation is an independent charitywhich encourages local philanthropy. It provides advice and options for donors which it transforms into funding and support for small charities, voluntary groups and individuals in the county. It says: "By making local giving easy, we strengthen our local communities and improve the lives of vulnerable people."
To donate, go to http://www.justgiving.com/campaign/hertsrefugee. It closes on November 30.