Desborough neighbours ready to help Afghan families with donations
A collection is taking place this weekend
A Desborough man touched by the plight of Afghan refugees has rallied his neighbours to help with a collection of clothes and essential items.
Mike Haynes has experienced living abroad and seeing people fleeing their homeland spurred him on to put out a call to people on the app Nextdoor for donations.
Tomorrow (Saturday) Mike will gather bags from his neighbours and then transport them to a location, which this newspaper has chosen not to reveal, to provide a welcome for the newcomers.
He wants to welcome the refugees and make their start to new life in the UK a happy experience after fleeing from the Taliban.
Mike said: "I think this is the British way. These people have been to hell and back. I've been the 'foreigner' in countries and I have had kindness from people. I want to share that kindness.
"It's not easy to settle in a foreign country and it's going to be especially hard for the elderly having to learn a new language."
Because Mike hasn't been told how many men, women and children there will be, he has asked for donations to be sorted into categories so it is easy to distribute.
In his post to Desborough neighbours he wrote asking for donations of spare clothes for all ages and genders, and sanitary products and toiletries.
He said: "These folks have been through hell, so let's show our new neighbours the light at the end of the tunnel isn't attached to a high-speed train."
Mike, 59, a logistics instructor, will be working with the West Northamptonshire Council and organisations to help the refugees.
He added: "We've had a good response and it's wonderful that the neighbours have done it. I didn't expect the response to be so good. I'd like to thank everyone.
"If we can take the fear out of coming here - I can only imagine what they have been through."
Mike can be contacted by calling 07715 585184.
An online appeal has been launched to raise £15,000 with councillors, Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire and Northampton's Afghan community teaming up to launch the GoFundMe page to help the 140 people coming to the county after fleeing from the Taliban to West Northamptonshire.