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Lord Mayor appeal to public for ‘starter packs’ ahead of arrival of Syrian refugees

A public appeal has been made for goods to put together ‘starter packs’ ahead of the arrival of Syrian refugees to the borough next week.

Fifty-seven refugees – including 25 school age children – will be resettled in the Armagh and Craigavon areas.

Details were made available at a media briefing in Craigavon Civic Centre yesterday (Thursday).

Armagh Lord Mayor Garath Keating is delighted to extend “a very warm welcome” to the new arrivals and has asked local people to show their support, both in terms of welcoming the refugees and through donations.

He said: “The families will be living in communities right cross the borough and I know that many of you will want to join with me in welcoming them into our neighbourhoods and will be keen to support them in making them feel welcome.

“All of the families have experienced great hardship and have witnessed much trauma over the past number of years.

“Imagine if your family arrived in a new country traumatised and bereaved, not speaking the language, not knowing your way around or how things work.

“The families will arrive with practically nothing and any possessions that they do have fit into one bag.

“If you are interested in helping the families feel welcome, we’re appealing for your support in helping to put together ‘starter packs’ to donate to the Syrian families on their arrival to the borough. Information on how you can do this is detailed below.

“I know how positively the people in this area have in the past responded to people in times of need and I hope we can do the same again this time.

“Thank you in anticipation of your generous support with this appeal.”

What and Where to Donate

(Please note that that this is not an appeal for general donations, second hand clothes, furniture, white goods, bric-a-brac or cash).

What to Donate:

Vouchers: These can be purchased from locally accessible supermarkets, chemists, clothing outlets, shoe shops etc although processed in the same manner as cash, these can be donated and have proved useful in other areas.

(We gratefully request that any of the items listed in the following categories be new).

Household Starter Packs: new kitchen and bathroom cleaning essentials, tissues, tea towels, tin-opener, utensils, clothes drying rails, high chairs, shoe racks etc
Children’s Education Packs (from 0 – 17yrs M/F): new toys, colouring in pens, crayons, jigsaws, picture books, learning to read books, basic English Language support books, school stationery, school bags etc
Medical/Hygiene Starter Packs: Toothbrushes, Toothpaste, Soap, Shampoo, Conditioner, razors, shaving foam, deodorant, feminine hygiene, plasters, brush, comb, first aid kit, nappies etc
English Language Family Starter Packs: Direct purchase or vouchers from local accessible retailers or vouchers purchased from online retailers of Bilingual Arabic/English dictionaries, English language support books
Warmth Starter Packs: electric/oil/gas vouchers bed linen, sheets, blankets, duvets, pillows, hot water bottles, umbrellas
Clothes Starter Packs (0 – 17 years (M/F) – mature adults (M/F)): Vouchers for clothes and shoes, no second hand clothes/shoes please, small amounts of new basic clothing essentials e.g. socks, underwear, jumper, T-shirts, slippers.
Basic Food Starter Packs non-perishable: Cooking Oil, rice, pasta, tins, fruit juice, tea, coffee, salt, pepper, sugar, white vinegar, flour, long life milk etc.

(Please note that most families will only eat Halal foods – please avoid tinned and ready meals, or any foods with pork derivatives.)


Where to Donate

Donations can be dropped off/delivered to the following temporary collection points between the hours of 9:00am – 5:00pm. (For hours outside of this period, please contact the centres directly):

ARMAGH: Orchard Leisure Centre, 37-39 Folly Lane, Armagh BT60 1AT. Phone: 028 3751 5920

BANBRIDGE: ReStore Recycling Plant, 86 Scarva Road, Banbridge BT32 3QD. Phone: 028 406 60656

CRAIGAVON: The Hub, 7 Brownlow Road, Craigavon BT65 5DL.  Phone: 028 3831 3630

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