Volunteers in Dorset 'overwhelmed' by public donations to help refugees fleeing Afghanistan

  • Video report from ITV News Meridian's Richard Slee

A group of volunteers in Dorset have been overwhelmed with donations to help refugees who have fled Afghanistan.

The teams say they've been stunned by the kindness shown with thousands of items are being sorted by an army of helpers in Bournemouth and then driven to Birmingham.The team at the church in Southbourne have been tackling the huge job of sorting all of the donations over the past few days.

One family, dropping off children's clothing, said: "It's very upsetting to see children, families having to leave their homes because of what is happening and coming here with nothing."  

  • Rainbow Ross, Donation organiser

It all started with a simple post on social media by a man who then found himself at the centre of a whirlwind of goodwill. 

Donation organiser, Rainbow Ross, said "On the first day I was sitting here wondering if I'd get anything at all.  I probably had 25 boxes come in".

"The next day 50, the next day 100, today double that number."

Volunteer Brian has started a relay of van deliveries to a hotel in Birmingham. Credit: ITV News Meridian

One key helper is Brian, who's started a relay of van deliveries to a hotel in Birmingham where many of the newly arrived refugees are staying. 

Brian says: "When we were starting to unload some toys came out, one of the items was a small green child's scooter".

With the now constant flow of Afghan refugees arriving Brize Norton and Birmingham airport, there's a sense here of wanting to do something to help.

  • Brian describes the moment he handed a child a scooter

One volunteer said: "What's happening over there is so tragic for everyone. Just a little bit of help".

Another added: "I just wanted to help out all of the children and all the vulnerable people coming over here".

Brian has packed his van once more and will soon be back on the road. 

Meaning that more help on its way for people who only have what they could carry and are now starting a new life in a Foreign country.