Kettering charity ready to help Afghan families with donations

The Kettering charity was set up by a Geddington mum-of-four to help during the pandemic

By Alison Bagley
Saturday, 11th September 2021, 5:15 am

The founder of a Kettering one stop shop to help people in crisis has vowed to help newly arrived Afghan families fleeing for their lives to the UK.

So far, the volunteer-run The Shack Food Project, set up and run by Geddington mum-of-four Claire Gurney, has helped refugee organisations in Milton Keynes and Leicester.

Now she hopes to offer support to the families that will be arriving closer to home from the food bank and one stop outlet in Lower Street that provides clothes, equipment and practical help to families and individuals in the greatest need.

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Claire Gurney with items being donated to refugee families in Leicester

The project has already supplied families housed in hotels across the area with items such as nappies, bottles, toiletries and underwear with donations being sent where help is needed, but they have been receiving some abuse online for their work.

She said: "People say 'you should look after your own first' but we aren't prejudiced, we are helping them. If they need help, they need help. We help people here too - we are doing the food bank."

Using a list provided by those working with the refugees, Claire provides the items requested to Leicester charity Care to Feed as well 52 Afghan children housed in Milton Keynes.

On Friday September 10, North Northants Council announced they would be supporting the resettlement of ten afghan families in the authority's area.Claire wants to help the incoming families and would welcome the chance to provide much-needed items if the council contacts her.

Claire in the shop

Neighbouring West Northamptonshire Council this week announced that it would be housing a total of 320 refugees, with many already having arrived in the area.

Starting out in Geddington, helped by daughter Freya Fadrani and granddaughter Hallie Hills, last April Claire was awarded a Rose of Northamptonshire Award while Hallie was named as a 'Little Sunshine' by Kettering Morrisons.

Claire said: "We're the only place around here that does this and we're happy to help people in Northamptonshire. We're still doing our food bank. There's still the same demand and it's going to get worse now the Corona Kitchen has closed down.

Donations have been distributed via Milton Keynes and Leicester charities

"It's been a struggle and now we have to pay rent on the shop. We get a lot of people coming in and they are struggling."

Later next month, the group will launch their annual Christmas appeal that helped 138 families over the festive season last year.

To contact the team at the Shack Food Project go to their Facebook page by clicking here or make donations via the Lower Street shop in Kettering.

The Shack Food project has a shop in Lower Street, Kettering
Donations have been passed on from Kettering