Norfolk churches join Afghan refugee welcome bid
Norfolk churches are joining in efforts to help resettle Afghan refugees in the county following the current crisis and air evacuation with a refugee fund set up and a clothing donation hub established. Keith Morris reports.
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.
Meanwhile 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.
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.
“We’d love to thank Chantry Place for all their generosity and help in setting up our donation hub. We cannot wait to see what we can do with help from our new friends.
Find out more about Alive UK.
Find out other ways you can help the Afghan refugees.
Pictured above is Jo Thorne outside the Alive UK donation hub in Chantry Place, Norwich, ready to accept clothing for Afghan refugees.