Woman 'blown away' by yard sale to help Afghan refugees

Littleport yard sale for Afghan refugees

Natalie Williams raised over £850 from a yard sale she held to help support Afghan refugees in Cambridgeshire. - Credit: Natalie Williams

A woman who held “possibly the largest yard sale ever” to help Afghan refugees settling in East Cambridgeshire has raised over £850. 

Natalie Williams of Littleport took to Facebook to help collect required goods after she responded to a newspaper article in August, outlining ways to help refugees from Afghanistan. 

“I very quickly became inundated with donations from very generous people who wanted to help,” she said. 

After running out of space at her mother’s house where she was living, Natalie’s sister volunteered her garden as they continued to receive donations. 

Littleport yard sale for Afghan refugees

Natalie Williams raised over £850 from a yard sale she held to help support Afghan refugees in Cambridgeshire. - Credit: Natalie Williams

But after responding to Cambridge City Council sooner than the 10-day period, Natalie found that they and local charities “did not have the capacity to accept the donations.” 

So, she decided to work towards holding a yard sale. 

“I was thrilled when this was reinforced by an email from a councillor who explained that financial support was all that was needed right now,” said Natalie.  

Littleport yard sale for Afghan refugees

Natalie Williams raised over £850 from a yard sale she held to help support Afghan refugees in Cambridgeshire. - Credit: Natalie Williams

Littleport yard sale for Afghan refugees

Natalie Williams raised over £850 from a yard sale she held to help support Afghan refugees in Cambridgeshire. - Credit: Natalie Williams

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“I continued to plunge myself into the development of quite possibly the largest yard sale ever!” 

Natalie chose to support Afghan refugee resettlement causes in her local area that are caring for refugees. 

A novice of yard sales, she created an events page on Facebook where she sometimes asked for the public’s help. 

But despite not knowing how popular her idea would become, Natalie was taken aback by the amount of support she received. 

“I was blown away to see how willing everyone was,” she said. 

Littleport yard sale for Afghan refugees

Natalie Williams raised over £850 from a yard sale she held to help support Afghan refugees in Cambridgeshire. - Credit: Natalie Williams

“I was given loans of equipment, lots of offers for voluntary support and cake baking to name a few examples.   

“I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out at all but everyone kept reassuring me I was doing my best and it would be OK.” 

Last month, Natalie held her yard sale in Littleport and was joined by the Ely Refugee Resettlement Campaign (ERRC). 

From cakes and a lucky dip to clothes, shoes and a dance from Natalie’s father, residents turned out to help raise £787.30 on the day and £854.30 overall. 

Natalie added: “There were a few online pessimists that tried to shed a negative light over the project, but it was drowned out with cheers, love and support.” 

The monies raised will be split 80 per cent to the ERRC, 10pc to the Cambridge Refugee Resettlement Campaign and 10pc to the Cambridge Ethnic Community Forum.

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