THE ORGANISERS of a collection of items for Afghan refugees arriving in the UK say they have been ‘overwhelmed’ by the response to the appeal.
The Bromsgrove And District Asylum Seeker Support (BADASS) group had set up the drop-off point for between 10am and 1pm today at the Bromsgrove Methodist Church Centre.
They had asked for toiletries and new clothing for babies, toddlers, children, women and men and games for people of all ages.
The centre was inundated with items and it took several hours afterwards for volunteers to sift through and organise the donations so they can reach their intended recipients.
A delighted Joh Dyer, who co-ordinated the appeal, told the Standard: “What we got was absolutely incredible – we did not think we would get so much and the kindness and generosity of the people of Bromsgrove has been both humbling and overwhelming.”
There were concerns beforehand about a group of travellers who had pitched up on the car park as it was feared it may deter donors from dropping items off.
They were due to leave yesterday but remained, contributed £100 towards the group’s efforts and have offered to help load the coach which is coming to collect the items.
The loan of a coach has also been donated by a local business to ferry the items over to Redditch where they will be stored before dispatch to the refugees and their families.
Joh added: “I think we’ve got more than enough to ensure everyone who is relocated in our area is well-equipped and we may even be able to help out other areas as well.”
She paid tribute to the ‘amazing volunteers’, everyone who had donated and the travellers for their contribution.
“Bromsgrove has done itself proud.”
While we were there today, Jo was also approached by children asking about Afghanistan and the situation surrounding the country. She took time to explain to them what was happening over there and what the appeal and response was for.
As an added bonus, the BADASS group were given the title of ‘Champions of the Day’ on BBC Radio WM.
Click the link above to see our interview with Jo.
The event has been organised by the B&DASS (Bromsgrove and District Asylum Seekers Support) group.
Click here for more on the group via its Facebook page.