11pm update: The church says it now has enough clothes but could do with nappies and volunteers – read on for the story as it was this morning.
A church in east Greenwich is appealing for clothes to help refugees from Afghanistan who have just arrived in southeast London.
Christ Church on Trafalgar Road is asking for clean, good-quality clothes for refugees who are quarantining in the borough.
Both Greenwich and Lewisham councils have said they will help to house those who have fled in the wake of the Taliban’s overthrow of the country’s government. Many of those arriving in the UK have helped and worked for British forces over the past 20 years, and have arrived with just the clothes on their backs.
The church’s appeal came on the same day that terrorists targeted civilians trying to enter Kabul airport with bombs. One explosion was outside a hotel being used by British officials processing people hoping to fly to the UK.
Christ Church is asking people to drop clothes off at its Forum community centre during normal opening hours – check its website for opening times.
On Monday, Greenwich Council pledged its support for hosting Afghan refugees, although it said it was waiting to see what government funding was on offer before committing to a number. The borough currently houses 19 Syrian refugees as part of a Home Office-funded resettlement scheme.
Yesterday, Boris Johnson said Britain should host “a town’s worth of refugees”, saying that 15,000 people had been rescued so far.
Last night, Greenwich’s cabinet member for education, Matt Morrow, tweeted: “Spoke with a man today who worked for our embassy in Afghanistan. With his wife and two young children he waited 25 hours to get into Kabul airport, while Taliban fighters walked up and down the line with their guns. So glad he made it to Greenwich.”
Morrow said he and other councillors had been packing clean clothes for refugees.
Greenwich & Woolwich MP Matt Pennycook said on Tuesday that he and his team had been working “around the clock” on refugee cases. His colleague in Erith & Thamesmead, Abena Oppong-Asare, tweeted on the same day: “Inundated with cases of people in grave danger in Afghanistan. Working around the clock on heartbreaking cases, including a [UNHCR] employee in hiding whose husband was murdered by the Taliban.”
Lewisham Council has also pledged to take refugees. Lewisham Donation Hub has been asking residents to buy items – such as kettles, toasters and other electrical goods – and drop them off at its base at Place/Ladywell on Lewisham High Street.
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