The humanitarian repercussions of the removal of British and US armed forces from Afghanistan dominated the news last week and we were all shocked by the stories and pictures emerging from Kabul and beyond. Some of these images have been replaced by the outpouring of kindness and understanding from our local communities, shown through selfless volunteering hours and the generosity of donations to help ease Afghan families in their arrival into our country and county.     

I am sure we are all thinking of the impact on the Afghan population and the uncertainty that comes with regime change. As an Oxfordshire-based organisation our thoughts have to focus on those who arrive here needing help or support. We are fortunate that there are some great local community organisations working with refugees and asylum seekers on a day-to-day basis. I would like us all to recognise that their expertise and experience, together with a willingness and desire to work together, is what will make a true difference to the equity of our society.

We are actively engaging with our community partners, including Asylum Welcome, Sanctuary Hosting, Refugee Resource and Oxfordshire County Council, in their efforts to give full support and, ultimately, permanent homes in the county to the Afghan refugee families who arrived last week.

The work of Oxfordshire Community Foundation makes a systemic and long-term impact through a belief in the power of collaboration. An example of this is our recent funding for Oxfordshire Homeless Movement's project that gives end-to-end support to those individuals, who cannot access statutory funds enabling them to become self-sufficient and contributing members of their community.

The pandemic demonstrated the power of local communities. This latest crisis demonstrates that local compassion, dedication and competence are still needed. To ensure is that all our communities thrive we need to focus our resources on collaboration and effective partnerships.