Mayor tells of pride at kindness shown to Afghan refugees

Exmouth has welcomed 12 Afghan refugee families

Exmouth has welcomed 12 Afghan refugee families - Credit: DCC

Exmouth’s mayor Steve Gazzard says he is proud of the kindness and generosity shown by the community over the past week and has thanked everybody who has donated to help the Afghan refugees who are staying temporarily in the town.

And now councillor Gazzard is reminding local people that support is available for anyone who needs it – and he is urging any local families who need help to come forward.

Earlier this month, as reported in the Journal, 12 Afghan families, who had worked with and for the UK forces in Afghanistan, arrived in Exmouth – they are temporarily staying in ‘bridging accommodation’ at a seafront hotel until they are found permanent, long term accommodation somewhere in the UK.

Because of their work with British Forces the families, which include babies and young children, were forced to leave everything they know behind for fear of reprisals from the new regime.

Their arrival in Exmouth followed the Government requesting that councils across the UK help identify suitable long-term accommodation so the refugees can start new lives.

Over the past week the Town Council and voluntary groups have been working to ensure the families have the essentials.

Hundreds of people have donated items ranging from raincoats and nappies to toiletries and footwear.

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And all this has been managed and delivered by Exmouth Town Council in conjunction with Exmouth Food Bank, Exmouth Coastal Churches, Open Door, Exmouth Friends in Need. Exmouth Salvation Army, Churches Together, local people on the Exmouth Community Facebook page and Exmouth Citizen’s Advice Bureau.

Councillor Gazzard said: “On behalf of the Town Council I want to thank every person and every organisation who has contributed. Exmouth is a town with strong military links and these families supported and helped British Forces for many years when we needed them.

“The last week has been a timely reminder of just how the kind and generous Exmouth people and its voluntary groups are – we are a close-knit community and we have always looked out for those in need.

“Please remember, if you or your family is struggling, if you need help, advice or a helping hand, the community organisations listed above will do whatever they can to help you get back on your feet.

“This support is not just available to a few, its available to everyone in their time of need.”

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