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Perthshire charity “blown away” by refugee welcome pack response

Big-hearted residents in Perthshire have stepped up to the plate after being asked to help make Afghan refugees to the region feel at home.

Welcome packs are being assembled across the county with a list of the most wanted items circulated by Perth charity PKAVS.

The welcome pack list asks for toothpaste, shampoo, razors, tote bags as well as toys, books and warm hats and gloves.

It comes as the local authority confirmed it would welcome double the number of people fleeing the country it had originally planned on.

As items have begun arriving, Jenni Keenan, empowering communities team manager at PKAVS, said: “The kindness and generosity we’ve seen has really blown us away.”

Local councils across the UK are expecting families to arrive from Afghanistan after the torturous scenes at Kabul airport as the Taliban took control of the country, and the decision to give British citizenship to people who have had to flee having helped the UK operation out there.

A number of drop-off points are springing up in the districts and the donations are being taken to Perth.

Pupils at St John’s RC Academy amassed toys and toiletries and brought them to the central drop-off in Perth on Wednesday and Thursday.

Primary pupils from St John’s RC Academy with items donated for the Afghan refugee families

Dunkeld Church of Scotland opened a welcome pack donation point earlier in the week at the Chanonry in Cathedral Street.

At The Gateway, the PKAVS office in North Methven Street, rooms were filling up with items.

Jenni added: “The collection we are undertaking just now is for welcome packs for those families arriving in the coming months, and for future arrivals.

“The response from the community so far has been incredible, the kindness and generosity we’ve seen has really blown us away.

“For example, Broke Not Broken in Kinross has arranged its own local collection which will be transported up to Perth.

(L-r): Anne McCormack from Kinross action group Broke Not Broken with Lori Hughes and Jenni Keenan from PKAVS
(L-r): Anne McCormack from Kinross action group Broke Not Broken with Lori Hughes and Jenni Keenan from PKAVS

“It’s lovely to see communities pulling together to show their support.

“Some of the items we are asking folks to donate are the essentials, like toiletries for example – things we all need.

“Other things, like a nice fleecy blanket and toys for the children, are the bits and pieces that help make a new house feel like home.

“It’s all about providing a warm welcome from our community to our new arrivals, and helping them to create a home here.”

PKAVS asks that all items donated for the welcome packs are new.




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