15th Sep – MAJOR NEW GROUP – WELCOME MK – HELP US ON 17/09: FUNDRAISER 25TH SEP; MK STOREHOUSE; BABY BASICS WISH LIST; HELP SORT; FACEBOOK LINKS; MORE… (all in full article, plus donation advice eg MK Food Bank Xtra, Red Cross, Baby Basics MK). Please refresh page for updates. Here is what we now know (links shown in red in the full article):
15th Sep: Major New Group Launches – ‘Welcome MK’
Today (15th September 2021) we received an exciting email, as follows – please read and bookmark the new group’s website and, if possible, respond to their ongoing appeal:
Today [15th Sept 2021], in response to the ongoing arrival of families and individuals from Afghanistan into our community, we are launching Welcome MK – www.welcomemk.org’
Our primary aim is to ensure that all those who arrive into our community as refugees, asylum seekers or migrants receive the warmest of MK welcomes. As we do that, we have 3 driving motivations:– Compassion: we always put people first, recognising that so many who arrive here have been through such difficult experiences.– Collaboration: we work with and through others, maximising existing experience, expertise and resource to meet needs.
– Commitment: our focus is on giving people all the support they need for a brighter future, as well as meeting immediate needs.Right now, we’re not planning to become a registered charity but – as a group of committed volunteers including councillors, existing charities and faith leaders – we will continue to review what is needed and how we can best ensure those who arrive into our community can be supported and given the foundations for a brighter future.You can find out more at our website www.welcomemk.org, but in the meantime, we have an urgent ask that we’d like you to communicate to your churches:WE NEED 40 VOLUNTEERS TO HELP SORT DONATIONS OF CLOTHES, SHOES AND OTHER ITEMSWHEN: THIS FRIDAY, 17 SEPTEMBER, FROM 6.00 -10.00PM
WHERE: SAXON COURT, AVEBURY BOULEVARD, MILTON KEYNES, MK9 3HS
Getting through all of these remaining items is crucial in allowing us to shift more of our effort to the families themselves. Those willing to help simply need to turn up to the rear entrance of the building. Masks and gloves will be provided. Any questions, please direct them to: Email: email@example.comWebsite: www.welcomemk.org
(RWMK adds: We will continue to provide prominent links to Welcome MK as they ramp up their capabilities to fill an important space in much-needed service provision for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in the greater Milton Keynes area.)
8th Sep: Fundraising event on 25th Sep – “Charity event will help support refugees from Afghanistan and Syria; A community festival featuring live music, food, performances and family entertainment is being hosted by Milton Keynes Islamic Arts and Culture (MKIAC) at The Chrysalis Theatre, Milton Keynes, on September 25.” Read full announcement and details in this MK Citizen article.
Guardian article: What can you do to help?
This Guardian article (click here for full article) provides an excellent set of ideas and links, including Refugees at Home and Rooms for Refugees, Care4Calais donation appeal the Refugee Council appeal to help Afghans resettling in the UK, the British Red Cross Emergency Appeal, and more. Some of these inevitably overlap with our own list below, but it is worth having a full read for fresh suggestions.
4th Sep: MK Storehouse is actively accepting donations on behalf of Afghan Refugees in Milton Keynes
3rd Sep: ITV news report about “Afghan refugees begin new lives in Milton Keynes” linked here (numbers may not be accurate)
2nd Sep: Read this Update from MKFM on numbers of Afghanistan Refugee arrivals in MK (temporary + longer-term)
31st Aug: Fill form to volunteer sorting donations. See MKFM article
MKFM reports that “rather than donating physical items, people are being asked to help sort through what has been donated by the kind-hearted community…. People that are over 18-years-old and are double-jabbed are being called on to help from 10am to 4pm each day…even two hours of volunteering will be a massive help. … People are being asked not to just turn up at Saxon Court as there is a chance that there will be too many volunteers and people may be sent away…. If you would like to help then please fill out the form… “
31st Aug: See ‘other updates’ further below for updated Facebook Page/Group listings.
30th Aug: MKFM Reports that “Baby Basics MK has issued a call-out for Amazon Wish List donations for young Afghan refugees that have been placed in emergency accommodation in MK”. Here is a link to the Baby Basics MK Amazon Wish list*
*After selecting your item(s) and going to Checkout, be sure to click on ‘Other addresses: Baby basics’ Gift Registry Address‘ which will come up automatically when you are asked for a delivery address – do not use your own! It looks like this:
29th Aug: “Thank you, MK, for your generous donations”
Watch the video and thank you message from MK Councillor Paul Trendall, also posted on Facebook (click here to watch).
26th August Message from Milton Keynes Council:
As some people are aware, Milton Keynes is a host for a sizable number of families on the ARAP scheme [Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy] commonly known as interpreters. This is a bridging exercise as they move to a more permanent place in the UK. These families have been given support by your Council, the services of a GP, health visitors and items through Baby Basics and Food Bank Xtra. We are putting on activities and sessions through our family centre teams. Thank you for the support you give for this work. Please keep their plight in your minds to ensure that nationally we deliver this project generously and speedily.
- Some Facebook pages/groups with relevant posts:
- Muslims in Milton Keynes
- MK Islamic Arts & Culture – esp this post
- Newport Pagnell Baptist Church (incl active donation links/stories)
- Baby Basics MK (regular donation updates – see below for their Amazon Wish List)
- MK Storehouse
- UK Refugee Welcome – People to People Solidarity
- Refugees Welcome (not RWMK)
- Refugee Support and Advice
- Milton Keynes Community Hub
- MK Political parties with occasional posts: Labour / LibDem / Conservative
- MKFM Radio
- HOW/WHAT TO DONATE: We are relaying advice directly from the MK Council and British Red Cross about what forms of help/donation are best at any given time. Pending regular updates on this page, we have been advised to recommend the following links for donations:
- British Red Cross Afghanistan Crisis Appeal site
- Baby Basics MK (main site – see Wish List next)
- Baby Basics MK Amazon Wish list*
*After selecting your item(s) and going to Checkout, be sure to click on ‘Other addresses: Baby basics’ Gift Registry Address‘ which will come up automatically when you are asked for a delivery address – do not use your own!)
- MK Council Food Bank Xtra
- MK Storehouse (and MK Storehouse on Facebook)
- UNHCR UN Refugee Agency Afghanistan Appeal
- 24th August: “MK Council has asked residents to avoid leaving donations at Saxon Court for now.” Read MKFM Story here.
(Earlier MK Council drop-off instructions have been removed from this page in light of the 24th August updates).
- On Saturday 21st August at 10am, MKFM reported “Milton Keynes councillor [Paul Trendall] inundated with donations for Afghan refugees as posts flood social media“, which indicates the overwhelmingly positive response in the current crisis.
- Read the 20th August 2021 MK Community Hub article “Afghan Refugees Are Welcome In Milton Keynes“