West Northants welcomes up to 180 more Afghan refugees
A second hotel is being used to house the new arrivals
Sign up to NN Journal for regular, independent news about issues that matter in Northants
By Natalie Bloomer
West Northamptonshire will welcome up to a further 180 new arrivals from Afghanistan this week.
This is in addition to the 110 people who arrived in Northamptonshire last week.
A second hotel in the county is being used to house the new refugees.
This comes after a request from the Home Office for additional support from councils across the country.
North Northamptonshire Council will begin to support staff from West Northants to provide assistance to the arrivals.
“It’s hard to imagine having to completely uproot and move to another country at a moment’s notice,” West Northamptonshire Council Leader, Cllr Jonathan Nunn, said.
“Add to that the trauma that some families will have gone through, many with young children in tow, as they made hurried preparations to leave Afghanistan. Many have arrived with little more than they could carry, and we’ve all been stunned at the generosity shown by those pledging support of all sorts.
“It’s extremely heartening to know that so many people believe that welcoming our former allies from the Middle East is absolutely the right thing to do. It’s very important now that we help all of our new arrivals build a new life in the UK, so they can realise their aspirations of making a positive contribution.”
Founder of Northampton Afghan Community Obaidullah Khushull told NN Journal he has been overwhelmed by the amount of support offered to the new arrivals.
“I’ve been able to take clothes and shoes to the hotel where people are staying and some toys for the children. It is a very difficult situation but I’ve been overwhelmed by how much support we’ve had.”
Leader of North Northamptonshire Council, Cllr Jason Smithers said:
“It's essential in a situation like this that we all play our part to ensure we support people in such dire need.
“North Northamptonshire Council continues to stand ready to play a role when called upon by the Home Office. Until that call, we have offered to support our colleagues in West Northamptonshire Council in any way we can.
"We owe a debt of gratitude to these brave men and women who did not hesitate to support our servicemen and women in their hour of need. As a county and even as a country, we now need to step up and show the same level of commitment they afforded us when we needed them."