VOLUNTEERS are being sought for a newly-created team aimed at dealing with an influx of asylum seekers into Teesside.

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council has a contract with the Home Office to provide 150 homes across the borough for asylum seekers.

The council has established an asylum support team based at Steele Crescent, South Bank, and is now looking for volunteers wanting to help asylum seekers to settle into the area.

While the majority of residents in the borough have welcomed their new neighbours, the council is concerned about rumours surrounding refugees.

Council leader David Walsh, who believes it is important to set the record straight, said: "Many hundreds of thousands of people have had to flee in terror of their lives. I feel we have a moral and ethical duty to help those seeking sanctuary.

"Contrary to rumour we do not provide microwaves, tumble dryers, hi-fis and televisions.

"We do give asylum seekers bus passes because the borough covers such a large area and it helps them keep a range of appointments, from going to the doctors to learning English at one of our Adult Education Centres.

"Everything in the property still belongs to the authority and must be left when they leave."

Anyone interested in helping should call (01642) 440477.