The extent of destitution among asylum seekers in Bradford and its impact will be explored in a research project, the findings of which will be unveiled next month.

The study, which was carried out by independent researcher Dr John Lever over a five-week period in June and July, will be discussed at a launch event at Kala Sangam, Forster Square, on Friday, September 14.

It has been commissioned by Destitution Concern Bradford, a group made up of representatives from organisations including Bradford Ecumenical Asylum Concern (Beacon), Bradford Action for Refugees, the British Red Cross, BIASAN, Bradford Council, Hope Housing and Inn Churches.

Will Sutcliffe, hosting co-ordinator at Beacon, said: “At the hosting project there is always a long waiting list of people who are destitute. We have never been able to put a figure on it. In terms of raising awareness, getting credibility for the issue, campaigning and fundraising, it is clearly helpful to be able to establish a definite minimum, and that is what the research aims to be able to establish.

“It will be counting those who are accessing some form of service. We know there are significantly more people out there not accessing services for whatever reasons.”

He said the research aimed to look at “the impact on individuals of destitution, the impact on the community and the impact on the organisations working with them”.

Former chairman of Bradford Refugee Forum Roben Mutwira will speak at the event about his experience of destitution.

He came to the UK from Zimbabwe after his daughter fell ill and was advised not to return as he was a member of a group opposing the Mugabe regime.

He slept rough before being taken in by church members who urged him to claim asylum and went on to gain refugee status.

Mr Mutwira has written a book, called Asylum Seeking Trauma, which describes difficulties faced by asylum seekers and aims to help them find their feet in foreign countries.

Anyone who wants to attend the research findings launch is asked to e-mail host.beacon or call 07505 053149 by September 7.

There will be a buffet lunch at the event, which will run from 1pm to 3.30pm.