SIX vans full of donations have been "gratefully received" by Afghan nationals living at an army camp in Chickerell.

It comes as two Dorset MPs visited the site last week.

As previously reported, an appeal was made for donations after Afghan nationals arrived at the camp with very few possessions and were in desperate need of clothing and items for children.

Chickerell Camp is being used to temporarily house families of Afghan nationals who worked with or for the British Armed Forces and other Government departments throughout operations in Afghanistan.

This resettlement is part of the MoD’s ARAP Scheme – Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy. 

Nicola Briar, Town Clerk at Chickerell Town Council said: "We have had an overwhelming response to our appeal for warm clothes, toys, boots etc with six vans full of donations going to the camp already.

"The donations are providing the families with great comfort and warmth and are gratefully received.

"Chickerell residents have shown what a generous and welcoming community we are with donations also arriving from surrounding areas such as Weymouth, Portland and Poole. 

"Chickerell Town Council is extremely proud of our community and would like to thank everyone who has donated and supported our cause."

Dorset Echo: Chris Loder and Richard Drax at Chickerell CampChris Loder and Richard Drax at Chickerell Camp (Image: Chris Loder)

Chris Loder, MP for West Dorset, and Richard Drax, MP for South Dorset, visited Chickerell Camp on Thursday, January 18, to meet with Afghan citizens, their families and Ministry of Defence personnel.

The MPs were given a tour of the site by Major General James Senior.

Mr Loder said: “Since December, we have welcomed a small number of very brave Afghan citizens and their families at Chickerell Camp with the help of the British Army.

Dorset Echo: Chris Loder speaking with Army personnelChris Loder speaking with Army personnel (Image: Chris Loder)

"We are able to provide refuge for those who have supported the British Armed Forces in their work, but who would otherwise be at great risk in Afghanistan under Taliban rule.  

"I’m humbled by their bravery and am pleased we can do our part in West Dorset to help.”

Mr Drax said: “Having served in the army, I was not surprised to find the military once again doing an outstanding job, this time co-ordinating the care of Afghan families who have had to flee their country.

"I thanked them for bravely assisting our Armed Forces during the war out there, which has put their lives at risk. Along with Dorset Council and other organisations, the camp is well run and the Afghans themselves said they were happy and felt secure.

"I left the visit inspired by both those who are looking after the Afghans and of course the Afghans themselves.”

Donations, especially for young children, will still be warmly welcomed.

Warm clothes, coats, shoes and good condition toys can be taken to Chickerell Town Council’s Offices, Willowbed Hall, 39 Putton Lane, Chickerell, DT3 4PB on weekdays, between 9.30am and 12 noon.