An all-day international extravaganza in support of refugees and asylum seekers kicked off in Witney on Saturday.

Asylum Sounds, Witney’s first international music celebration, fundraised for Asylum Welcome, which provides aid to those struggling to emigrate from terror stricken countries.

Event organiser Luci Ashbourne, of Witney Refugee Action Group, said: "It exceeded expectations really. We were incredibly busy all day and weekend.

"Children from the Syrian families got onstage and joined in the singing, and there was a real sense of community. It was such a positive vibe the entire day."

She expects the funds raised for Asylum Welcome to exceed £2,000. Since the Syrian Resettlement Scheme began, six families have been placed in Witney.

Mrs Ashbourne added: "It's a humanitarian disaster. The Action Group has evolved into a more organised thing over the last year but initially it was just the feeling of 'somebody's got to do something.'"

Local artist David Ranson, 66, constructed a live-art mural during the event.

After suffering a stroke in 2007 while recovering from a triple bypass surgery, he lost the use of his right hand. As a part of his rehabilitation, he began to paint using the fingers on his left hand.

He now runs a private gallery to showcase his work, located on High Street just above the Co-Op.

Having been inspired by the music and dance theme of the day, his colourful mural illustrated North African dancers.

He said: “It was a very good event.

There was a big turnout, and it was well supported in the community.”

Senegalese Mast kora player Jali Fily Cissokho performed using the complex 21 stringed West African instrument in the early afternoon. The kora is a harp/lute built from a gourd and covered with cow skin.

Visitors also enjoyed live poetry, funk and reggae DJs, a raffle and cake stand.

Mrs Ashbourne added: "The cake stall itself raised over £400 in 4 hours.

Apparently the secret to fundraising is just a lot of cake."

Through Asylum Welcome, unaccompanied children are cared for, legal services are provided, and food is available at their food bank which was visited over 1,000 times last year.

Director of Asylum Welcome Kate Smart said: "We're extremely grateful that people in Witney put time and effort into organising the event which went brilliantly."