BOURNEMOUTH residents have donated 394 boxes of supplies for Afghan refugees at a church in Southbourne.

The drive took place at Immanuel Church everyday between 9am and 3pm over the course of a week last month.

In a statement on social media one volunteer said: “Thank you all so much for the incredible donations we received at Immanuel church for the Afghan refugees. However, we are now unable to take any more. We were totally overwhelmed by the generosity of the people of Southbourne - you are all amazing.”

Councillor George Farquhar attended the event and said: “Operation Afghanistan Refugee Donations is complete. 394 boxes of essential immediate need supplies and donations have been sent from Immanuel Church Southbourne and BCP to the distribution centre in four long wheel base vans with not an inch left to spare.

"My heartfelt thanks on behalf of Cheryll Rogers, Ross Donaldson and Brian Platt for every donation and every volunteer that helped this mission be a success.

"No more donations will be accepted at the church until further notice. Bless you all for your help for those fleeing war and persecution."

Southbourne resident, Ross Donaldson, started the collection after posting on the Southbourne Community Facebook page, asking if anyone was taking clothes donations for refugees. The post received an overwhelming response from the community and Ross decided to become a local representative for national charity Care4Calais so he could arrange a clothing drive for people to donate to.

Now the group have ceased taking in donations to the church, Ross said: “In the future I want to inspire more youth to get involved and open a drop off point to work with people in the area more closely.”

The donations collected have been taken in four vans to Refugee Aid From Taunton (RAFT), for storage. As the army's resources and capacity begins to free up after refugees are moved around the country they will redeploy and get the sorted donations to where they need to go for distribution to the Afghan refugees.