A kind-hearted mother has co-ordinated the donation of dozens of maternity items from all over the world for vulnerable Afghan women attending Walsall Manor Hospital.
Mother-of-two Becky Watson posted an appeal on her Instagram and Facebook pages on August 28 to help vulnerable Afghan refugees coming to the UK. Since then the family have been swamped by donations from as far afield as Vietnam and Australia, as well as London, Scotland and all over the West Midlands.
Four Afghan women are so far on Walsall’s maternity pathway but more are expected with the town designated as a centre to receive refugees.
Becky, aged 29, split all the items into separate packs of mother and baby essentials into 104 large holdalls, 30 of which were gratefully received by the hospital’s Delivery Suite. The packs will form part of Walsall’s effort for the government’s Operation Warm Welcome project, co-ordinated with the trust’s Well Wishers charity.
“Having seen the heartbreaking footage on the news from Afghanistan, I put an appeal on Facebook and Instagram to put together care packages for mothers and babies arriving into the UK. I hadn’t expected the appeal to be shared across social media as much as it did, the response has been incredible. People have been so generous!” said Becky, who is mum to Charlotte, two and a half, and six-month-old Joseph and lives in Sutton Coldfield.
“The donations have mostly come from the local area but I’ve got friends from further afield, even Vietnam, and my old employers Lyle and Scott in London and Scotland who have made generous donations, and some ex-pats in Australia who sent a £200 Boots order to my house, which is amazing!
“I think everyone just wanted to do something to help but they didn’t know how or where to donate. As soon as I put it up, I started getting offers from people offering to donate items.”
Becky, who is now a full-time mum but used to work in human resources, says the conflict made her think about the experiences of Afghan women.
“Being pregnant is tough enough at the best of times – you can’t imagine being in that situation and to go through that uncertainty,” she added.
Delivery Suite Manager Trisha Stych took delivery of the dozens of bags, which filled the floor of an office.
“It’s really generous and thoughtful,” said Trisha. “These women are going through such a difficult time and they won’t have many essentials with them.”
Becky and husband Nick, a self-employed personal trainer, 29, also delivered similar quantities of essentials to City Hospital and a charity in Smethwick called Brushstrokes.