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Council leads the way to welcome Afghan refugees

COUNCIL staff have been working around the clock to prepare for the arrival of almost 700 people airlifted out of Afghanistan.

Around 680 adults and children are staying in three Milton Keynes hotels booked by government for the new arrivals. Many had made their long and gruelling journey in just the clothes they were wearing after leaving their homes in traumatic circumstances.

A team Milton Keynes Council workers have provided support including sourcing, packing, and supplying more than £15,000 of emergency personal items like toiletries and baby supplies, working alongside NHS partners.

Milton Keynes Council staff at work before the arrival of the refugees

The council is arranging activities and events for families, as many of the new arrivals are young children, and a council family worker will be on hand to help the families to orientate themselves and to access healthcare and other essential services.

The council’s chief executive Michael Bracey said: “This is a fast-moving situation and I am proud that, as ever, council colleagues stepped up to give the practical help needed. Right now our focus is on the immediate wellbeing of these families.”

Milton Keynes residents too have rallied to help but, after a generous response from residents, the council is asking that people hold on to donations of clothing and toys and not to made donations direct to hotels.

To support refugees, the advice is to consider a financial donation to a well-known humanitarian charity involved in refugee support such as the British Red Cross or Save the Children.

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