David Emmanuel Koye


I came from Sierra Leone to England to study boat building at Falmouth technical college. Later on I studied at Southampton and Wisbech then I went back to Sierra Leone. I returned to England a few years later to complete my final certificate in Yacht and Boat building at Yarmouth. When I completed the course I couldn’t go home because there was a civil war going on in Sierra Leone and so I asked for asylum.

After a few years I was granted asylum and I got a job at the boat building yard in Bridlington, at first they gave me really horrible jobs but gradually I became a key part of the team. I was always a good worker and had higher qualifications than the other workers.

I praise god for looking after me and know that because we are all god’s creatures that everywhere is home.

Photos and interview © Quentin Budworth

Anne Dean


I retired to Beverley from Derbyshire eleven years ago to give myself a treat. Although I was happy there I was a bit restless and then I heard about Open Doors and started coming in weekly for the morning and after a few months I decided I wanted to live in this community where I could meet the people I saw on Thursdays in the normal course of life in the street.

I sold my house in Beverley quite successfully and was able to buy a slightly bigger house split into two flats to let upstairs one at a time or a couple at a time to asylum seekers and I’m now having my seventh tenant from the Congo and it has all worked out very happily and so I can come to Open Doors just walking up the road and I wouldn’t have not done it for anything.

Photos and interview © Quentin Budworth

Jean Rippon


Artist Jean Rippon volunteers at Open Doors and is one of the key workers on the allotments which make a vital contribution to the organisation. Her work is featured in the background of Saeid Jameli’s portrait.

Photos and interview © Quentin Budworth

Saeed Jameli


The weather is a little dark and night is coming. I’ve been sitting in the van since 9-30 in the morning and I am in Hull. I don’t know this city and I have a thousand thoughts running through my mind. I’m very afraid and distressed I don’t know anyone. I know I will never forget this day.

Today is one of the days of mid October I’ve been brought to the old town the car is driving and I’m looking out through the window and I’m wondering where I’m going. The driver takes me to a house and I get out of the car a lady greets me. She explains everything I was on Spring Bank I asked her what is Hull like?

Hull is a small town but it is boring I have been wandering around the shops for two days I’m still not sure where things are. Whilst I looked round shops in town I was frightened and scared.

I’d spoken to one of my friends and he told me that in Hull they didn’t like strangers and in the last few years many asylum seekers had experienced difficulties and been upset. So because of this any time I left home I was very scared eventually I realised that things were not as he told me.

I started going to the square near the BBC and Queens Gardens and spent a lot of time in the town center. I spoke to people and asked lots of questions I noticed that people were very kind to me.

One day I went out in my blue jeans, white shirt and flip flops I went into a shop and I noticed that the security guard and shopkeeper were staring at me. There was something very odd about their body language and the way they spoke to each other and looked at me. I was confused, when I got home I told my friends what had happened and they laughed and said that they probably thought I was gay because of the way I was dressed.

The days passed and I started going to Open Doors to learn English. Halloween was getting close and I saw there was an event in East Park, it took me an age to get there, on the way I saw lots of people with different outfits and masks on. There were people dressed up all over Hull it was fantastic. There was a stall selling stuff for children and I stopped and talked with them.

There was another place and it looked like a hall way or tunnel with music that sounded scary. I asked a gentleman to take a photograph of me with my mobile phone, he pretended to run away with the phone but then he turned around laughing and joking with me he was really nice person and soon we were having a laugh he was just helping me to make the most of my time. He made my night.

Days passed and I had been going to the church for a while. I had met a lot of people and they were all nice to me and I found friends and lots of nice things started to happen for me in a way that has changed my life.

The Methodist Church feels like my own church. I met people here who are like angels I’m not exaggerating.

Some days last thing at night I walk by the Deep to see the river flowing to the sea and seeing the birds at this place in the day time is so beautiful like having your cheek stroked. There is a statue of a family of immigrants there travelling from Hull to America. Near the Deep there is a statue of a shark and beautiful views. The Quayside is also very beautiful.

Days and nights passed I ran out of money and I lost my accommodation. It was a hurricane tearing through my life the feelings of fear and anxiety returned. I had nothing to eat and nowhere to sleep. I was still going to Open doors and I spoke to them about my problems. They supported me and reassured me. Those angels suddenly put things right for me they gave me somewhere to live. I am currently in a house and I have a really big family of friends in Hull at the moment i can honestly say that the city of Hull for me is a ‘City of Angels’.

I thank all the people who have helped me and I will never forget what they have done for me. I will help any asylum seekers find their feet here.

Photos © Quentin Budworth words Saeed Jameli