A photographic exhibition portraying refugees and their host families across the UK is hoping to inspire others to give asylum seekers a home.
A Great British Welcome is series of intimate portraits of those forced to flee their home countries and the British households which have opened their doors to them.
Created by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the exhibition is part of an ongoing photo series portraying European refugees and asylum seekers, and is on display at St Martin-the-Fields in London until 16 March.
Hamish and Tamsin, Manchester
Hamish Dunlop and his partner Tamsin Chowdry offered their spare room to a Syrian refugee in response to the “suffering” and “trauma” they felt was being inflicted on asylum seekers.
Hasan, a 27-year-old former agricultural engineering student, had fled conflict in his home country, was initially “terrified” of living with strangers.
He is now learning English and trying to integrate.
The McCanns, east London
Mother and daughter, Judith and Connie McCann, share their home with Shannon from Aleppo.
The 22-year-old was kidnapped in Syria in 2015 before fleeing his war-torn country.
Inspired by Judith’s late husband, who was a refugee from Chile in the 1970s, they say Shannon “can stay as long as he wants”.
The Elliotts, London
Husband and wife Charles and Katharine Elliott host a young Ethiopian, who fled his home because his father is a political prisoner.
Charles, whose parents were refugees from Germany, felt that helping those in need of international protection was important.
Hussein, 20, who saw people shot in front of him as he escaped through Libya, says his journey was hard but he’s now happy in the UK. He hopes to study to become a neurologist.
Emily and Gijs, London
Emily Reynolds and her boyfriend Gijs Van Amelsvoort offered up their home to Areej, a 30-year-old refugee from Sudan.
Originally from Khartoum, Areej volunteers as an interpreter for asylum seekers and as an English language tutor.
Gijs said: “She was very polite and shy in the beginning but within a week she started being sassy and making jokes.
“We get along really well and the most lovely, surprising thing that happened is that we became friends.”
The Parles, Birmingham
Hilary and Jim Parle decided to host a refugee after hearing the tragic story of toddler Alan Kurdi, 3, whose body was washed up on a beach in Turkey in 2015.
They took in 72-year-old Eritrean Yonasskindis, a former accountant, who fled his home country after receiving death threats.
On the verge of homelessness after his original asylum request was rejected, Yonasskindis describes Hilary and Jim as a “brother and sister”.
Ingrid Van Loo Plowman, Epsom
Ingrid Van Loo Plowman met Syrian refugee Abdul, 19, at a hotel for asylum seekers in Birmingham and he made such an impression she invited him to live with her and her teenage son.
Abdul fled Syria in 2014 when a bomb flattened his neighbourhood and rockets destroyed his home, ending up in the notorious “Jungle” camp in Calais.
Ingrid also hosts two other refugees from Ethiopia and the Middle East.
She said: “Hosting refugees is the most rewarding experience. I strongly encourage people to look into it”.
The Goldhills, Cambridge
Devout Jewish couple Simon and Shoshana Goldhill, along with daughter Sarah, have welcomed a young Muslim from Syria into the family.
Faraj, 21, fled war-torn Aleppo in 2012 with his family, first going to Egypt, then travelling alone to Turkey before being granted refugee status in the UK.
Sarah feels she has the younger brother she always wanted, saying: “I am very protective of him. We hang out a lot and he just fits in so easily with all my friends. It’s impossible not to adore him”.
To find out more about hosting visit Refugees at Home.