I first came across Open Doors as a member of the management committee I worked as a circuit steward – but when I resigned my position I decided that I wanted to stay involved with Open Doors so I came back as a volunteer. Initially I found the language barriers difficult to overcome.
I managed to secure some funding from Hull City Arts to start a choir it’s called United Voices we sing songs from Sierra Leone, Eritrea, Iona, and English Folk Songs a lot of our members come because they want to improve their English and that is really positive.
The spirit of Open Doors is really joyful. I just love the optimism that everyone has despite what they’re going through. I love the fact that the volunteers some of whom have been refugees and asylum seekers themselves are so supportive of the others who are less secure and we can add to that positivity despite what they are going through.
The Choir is run by Cecil Jones and Gabrielle Awre.
United Voices is open to all and meets on Thurday evenings at the Princes Avenue Methodist Church at 7-00pm to 8-30pm there is also a fortnightly session that runs between 1-15pm and 2-00pm at the church. Tel: 07791793659 for more information.
Photos and interview © Quentin Budworth