More people in Bradford are needed to open their homes in the New Year to destitute asylum seekers.

The Beacon Hosting Project, which looks after people who have fled their home countries and have been refused refugee status, needs more hosts.

The project has provided accommodation for 44 asylum seekers since it was set up four years ago. Out of them, 17 have been granted leave to stay in the UK and about 11 more are still having their cases reconsidered.

Beacon hosting co-ordinator Will Sutcliffe said the group needs households able to offer a spare room, especially to a single man, to get in touch. A small contribution towards hosts’ and guests’ expenses is paid.

Mr Sutcliffe said: “Amazingly, hosts come back again and again to help, some having taken six guests in succession but we need to get more to help meet the need.”

One of the guests has been 31-year-old Kurd Fawaz Kobani, who fled Syria in 2009, leaving behind his family and all his possessions.

A law targeting Kurds in the north-east of the country forced him out of because he had taken part in demonstrations because of his political views.

Mr Kobani believed his life was in danger and with help from his family he managed to escape to the UK where he claimed asylum.

Mr Sutcliffe said the Home Office did not believe the story and turned down Mr Kobani’s claim for asylum giving him no right of appeal.

He had to leave his Home Office supported housing and lost the £35 week he had been receiving and was not allowed to work. His only option was to become destitute and sleep on friends’ floors and sofas.

But his fortunes turned when staff at the Red Cross Destitution Drop-In referred him to the Beacon Hosting Project, who found him a home with volunteer hosts Steve and Margaret White, in Allerton, Bradford.

While he was with him he got support and managed to get more evidence to back up his story and put in a fresh asylum claim which was eventuall accepted. Mr White said: “When he came to us he was a shy and worried young man who did not know what to expect from us.

“We were soon impressed by his gentleness and consideration and his eagerness to learn English. He was with us for 17 months and in that time we grew to know him very well and he has continued to keep in touch with us.

“We did no more for him than we would hope someone would do for one of our sons if our positions were reversed.”

To find out more contact Mr Sutcliffe on (01274) 727525. Visit