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Spare rooms and full list of items needed for Afghan refugees in Kent

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Original article from Kent Live

The ongoing situation in Afghanistan has seen Kent come together in aid for desperate refugees.

The Abbots Barton Hotel in Canterbury is accommodating Afghan nationals while the Canterbury Mosque also visited and made plans for refugees to attend last Friday's prayers.

A vigil was also held in Dover to remember those that had lost their lives crossing the Channel.

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Refugees that have already arrived in the county have been left "traumatised" by what they have seen and heard from speaking to those back home.

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The Taliban's recent return to power has seen a surge in refugees fleeing Afghanistan.

In Kent's latest show of support for those in need, Maidstone Borough Council has issued an appeal asking for landlords to house refugees in the area.

Cllr David Burton, Leader of Maidstone Borough Council said: “We are doing all we can to help these desperate people and are appealing to all landlords who can help to contact us.

"We are looking for self-contained suitable properties with a minimum of a six-month tenancy.

“These extra properties are needed in addition to our usual housing requirements for local people who need accommodation as we do not have any extra availability in our current existing housing stock.

“This is a call out to any landlords to help if they can play a part. We will work alongside them to provide intensive support to these families in order to help them integrate into our community.”

The council says it will be working very closely with the Kent Resilience Forum, including Kent County Council and the Clinical Commissioning Group, along with other key partners across the borough.

Any private landlords interested in working with Maidstone Borough Council to resettle Afghan families should contact the Homefinder team at homefinders@maidstone.gov.uk.

What should I donate?

In response to the events in Afghanistan, a charity, RefugEase, will be hosting an aid collection event in the county.

The collection will take place this Friday (September 3) from 2-5.30pm and it will be held in Tonbridge high street.

The most-needed items are small men's and teenage boys' clothing, unlocked smartphones, suitcases and children's shampoo.

To find out more information about the collection, please visit this link.

For a more comprehensive guide about how you can help Afghan refugees in Kent, please visit this link.

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Original Article