A local pub’s donation appeal for Afghan refugees saw over five tonnes of donations make their way to Care4Calais in Taunton yesterday (19th September), for what turned out to be the largest donation the charity has ever received.
The George and Dragon pub in Salisbury has been taking donations to help those fleeing the country since the Taliban regained control of Afghanistan last month. Pub landlord, Nathan Lamb, said that when his step-children, Oscar and Louisa, learned what was going on in the country they were keen to help.
They gathered their own bag of donations and realised there was nowhere to drop off the items. Taking matters into their own hands, and using their spare bedroom above the pub as a storage site, the George and Dragon became a donation drop off point for Care4calais, a refugee crisis charity.
“The space we allocated at the pub was full on the second day. We had some great support from the Mayor and some local councillors and they let us borrow their space at a local church and we managed to fill that within a week,” explained Nathan.
Now, the Salisbury venue has had so many donations from the local community, that they took to the Guildhall Square to fill a double-decker bus and a trailer lent to them by Salisbury Reds and Fieldfare Trailer. Donations were still being brought to Guildhall Square as the bus and trailer were set to leave.
“We have got 70% of the donations to Care4Calais so far – so we still have some to go! Many thanks to both companies who have stepped up to help us transport the bulk of the donations. The rest of the donations that we cannot fit on this trip will be delivered as soon as we can.
“Salisbury has done an amazing thing and we should all stand proud of what the community has achieved. It is a real testament to the locals around this area,” said Nathan.
“I would like to thank my colleague Qas, he has done so much work for this, probably more than me. For every bag I have lugged he has lugged another“.
Currently, the Care4Calais depot is full, and Wiltshire Council has asked people to hold onto donations until a place for them to be stored is arranged.
“I think the council are stepping up which would be great as they have better infrastructure to help us to do this kind of thing,” Nathan added.