A giant life belt with a message of support for Afghan refugees has been sculpted into the sand on Tenby’s north beach. 

The image of a life belt, shaped like a heart with Afghanistan at its centre, appeared alongside the message ‘Refugees welcome’ on the popular beach on Sunday.

The messages were crafted by members of Stand Up to Racism West Wales which also leafleted in the town on Sunday before holding a rally at the beach next to the message.

Patrick Connellan, from the anti-racism group, said there is support for welcoming those fleeing persecution and danger. 

“I think yesterday and two weeks ago we had an incredibly good response. Two weeks ago I don’t think we got any nasty comments but had one or two yesterday," he said.

“Most people around in Tenby yesterday are tourists from all over the UK and I don’t think anybody would be unsupportive of Afghan refugees given the situation they are facing.” 

Leaflets distributed by the group called for the UK government to allow all Afghan refugees and not to deport those who have already come to the UK but have had asylum claims rejected. 

READ MORE: Carwyn Jones on Afghanistan crisis and new Taliban regime

The group described a scheme announced by the UK Government last week to welcome up to 20,000 Afghan refugees over five years as “woefully inadequate”. 

It also criticised European Union countries that raised objections to a ban on deportations for Afghan asylum seekers. 

The Stand Up to Racism West Wales group has been active since the Home Office placed asylum seekers at the Penally Camp in September last year – where conditions were later found to be "run down and unsuitable"

Mr Connellan said the group is also opposed to the UK Government's Nationality and Borders Bill which will criminalise asylum seekers who enter the UK without authority.

Opponents say that with very few legal routes to do so, the majority of asylum seekers have no other option.

The UK Government says it has evacuated more than 1,800 people from Afghanistan in the last 24 hours. 

Armed forces minister James Heappey told Sky News he expects “a further nine flights over the next 24 hours”. 

Mr Heappey also said the number of people which the UK hopes to evacuate overall has changed over time. 

He said: “It is certainly the case as the cases have been made for more people from Afghan civil society to be evacuated, those names have been added. 

“In reality, the focus is on the around 1,800 eligible persons or UK passport holders, British nationals and the remaining people under the Arap (Afghan relocations and assistance policy) scheme which is 2,275, but there are thousands more who we would like to get out if there is the time and the capacity.” 

Funds totalling £5 million will be available to local councils to help Afghan refugees who are coming to the UK through the Afghanistan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) scheme. 

Councils in Wales will use the money to help provide housing and support to Afghans who have worked for the UK in jobs such as interpreters in Afghanistan and now face threats to their safety.

That scheme was announced in April, and Welsh councils have already said they will join the programme, while the government announced a further scheme to support vulnerable Afghans, especially women and girls, following the Taliban taking control of the country last week. 

If you value The National's journalism, help grow our team of reporters by becoming a subscriber.