Make Afghan refugees feel welcome this winter and donate at drop-off points in Cardiff

Volunteer-run charity Care4Calais has set up donation drop-off points in the Welsh capital to help the refugees who have sought shelter in the UK

Volunteers handing out canned food and sorting through fruits, vegetables and other food donations
Lend a helping hand to those in need. Credit: Joel Muniz via Unsplash

Care4Calais has made it possible for Cardiffians to donate clothing and food for Afghan refugees. 

Drop-off point Honeycomb Toys and Books shop on Clare Road has received a plethora of donations and is still accepting more. 

The August takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban saw approximately half a million Afghans fleeing their home country in search of safety, as reported by BBC. The UK plans on helping 5,000 Afghan nationals by the end of the year, and 20,000 in the long term. In Wales, nearly 230 refugees have been provided sanctuary as of September, according to WalesOnline.  

Several organisations and small businesses have shown their support by launching food and clothing drives across the country. However, winters are always hard as temperatures plummet to -5°C across the Welsh landscape.

It’s like a patchwork of people working together to figure out what’s needed

Maia Banks, the owner of Honeycomb Toys and Books, signed up to be a donation point two months ago. Since then, many locals have contributed several items, such as shoes, sleeping bags, tents, canned goods, and clothing. 

While it’s been difficult because the operation is entirely volunteer run, Maia said there’s been a patchwork of people working together to figure out what’s needed. 

She receives up to 15 email enquiries from donors every week. Maia noted, “While some bring in four bags, others bring a few items, but donations of all sizes are welcome.” The bookshop is community-centred and is always looking for ways to help.

Afghan refugee donations received in the form of sleeping bags, tents, shoes, and clothing
A glimpse of what all has been donated by Cardiffians. Credit: Nikita Achanta

The local volunteers sorted through “piles and piles” of donations and realised most of the items were for children and women. There wasn’t nearly enough for men. Therefore, Honeycomb is now accepting donations only for men’s clothing, along with sleeping bags and tents. 

Unfortunately, the volunteers have not met the refugees yet. The local Care4Calais group is hoping to organise a meet-up soon.