SILHILLIANS have been thanked for their kindness as donations flooded in to support Afghan refugees landing at Birmingham Airport.
Solihull Council alongside the Renewal Church in Solihull and Entraide at Three Trees Community Centre in Chelmsely Wood put a call out for toiletries and children’s toys to hand over to those landing in the borough.
Within days the collection points had been inundated with donations and residents were asked to either put donations on hold or to donate cash to help.
Thousands of evacuees from Afghanistan have been welcomed by a number of organisations and volunteers on the tarmac at Birmingham Airport following the Taliban taking Kabul on August 15.
On average the airport had three flights a day with around 200 to 300 passengers on each flight.
Councillor Ian Courts, Leader of Solihull Council said: “My heartfelt thanks to the people of Solihull and all our partners for their willingness to help in a situation like this.
“The Solihull response to this crisis has been truly amazing – council and airport staff, voluntary organisations and so many others working long hours.
“Our job has been to ensure a welcome reception into the country through Solihull and Birmingham Airport and dealing with their immediate needs.
“On my visits to the airport, it was heartening to see how quickly and efficiently arrangements had been put into place and the relief that was evident amongst the refugees, around one in five of whom had babies or young children.”
Coun courts also said he was handed pictures from passengers which thanked the teams for what they have done.
Reverend Jonny Lee, senior pastor at Renewal Church in Solihull, said: “We are very thankful to all the people who have responded so quickly and generously to the Renewal Emergency Refugee Appeal.
“We are working with organisations and agencies directly supporting refugees across the Midlands in our Christian responsibilities to welcome, feed and clothe those who are without.
“Our community’s financial support and donations will ensure individuals and families have the essentials they need.”
The Ministry of Defence evacuated Afghans who worked with the UK military during the 20 years it was in the country, and risked their lives in doing so, alongside vulnerable adults and children.
Coun Courts said as yet Solihull Council does not know how many Afghan refugees it will take on.
Anyone who wishes to help support the refugees can donate online at the Renewal Church website https://renewalcc.com/helpinghands/ or the Entraide website entraideuk.org.uk.