We understand that currently there are around 680 adults and children staying in three Milton Keynes hotels booked by Government for the new arrivals. It is reported that between 8 – 10 families are expected to be housed in MK – around 50 – 80 people overall.

We reported at the end of August (see News post) that following a huge donation of clothes, toys etc by the people of MK, donations for the Afghan refugees had been paused. This is still the case. Currently the huge volume of donations is being sorted.

Can you help sort the donations received? If you are over 18 and double-jabbed, MK Council would really value your help! The sorting sessions this week are Monday – Sunday (excluding Saturday) 10am – 4pm, and Thursday evening 6pm – 8pm. Just go to Saxon Court (the old council offices in Avebury Boulevard) and ask for Jane Carr, Emily Darlington or Paul Trendall.

Once the huge volume of donations have been sorted, they will start to focus on specific things required to fill any gaps so watch this space!

The plan has always been that, if at the end of this there is a surplus of donations, these would be put into the charity supply chain, so that other people may benefit. Due to the overwhelming generosity of the people of Milton Keynes it has already been it possible to start feeding clothing, toys and baby equipment into local charities, not just before this is over, but before the sorting is even finished. Items have already been donated to Baby Basics, MK Storehouse and the Winter Night Shelter. Councillor Paul Trendall writes: “What started as a collection for people who served the UK and had to leave their homes because they did, has turned into probably the biggest collection of things for the less fortunate in our community the town has ever seen.The wider community will benefit from this, and it is the wider community which has made it possible.”

Other ways to help:

MK Baby Basics have updated their Amazon wish list with items they are in need of to support the children from Afghanistan. This is a really easy way to donate, it’s delivered straight to them and they can get it to the children quickly. Click here.

The Mayor of Milton Keynes is hosting a dinner to raise money for Afghan refugees in Milton Keynes. It will be hosted at the Raj Douth in Emerson Valley on Sunday 12th September. The mayor is inviting residents to join him at the Indian Restaurant for £15 per person with all proceeds going towards Afghan refugees in Milton Keynes. The fundraising will start at 6pm and take place for the entirety of the evening. To find out more you can contact The Raj Douth Indian Restaurant on 01908 506600.

Sanctuary Hosting matches refugees and asylum seekers with safe places to stay, but they are in desperate need of more volunteer hosts. Find out more here.

See also information on the Refugees Welcome Milton Keynes page here

And finally, the Diocese of Oxford writes:

“The crisis in Afghanistan is unfolding rapidly; on the news there have been horrifying images of Afghans desperately trying to get on planes out of the country, people sharing how the Taliban are going door to door kidnapping individuals they deem a threat, and legitimate fears about the cost to human life and freedoms we are likely to see.The UK government have announced an initial resettlement plan for Afghan refugees. This is to be welcomed, but many have said this isn’t urgent or ambitious enough. There is more to be done. How do we as Christians respond to this crisis? Here are three ways we can act now: Pray, Show support for Refugees, Act – read more here.