Until last week, Audrey and Andrew Todd were as normal a Glasgow middle class family as you could get.

He is a professor of neuroscience at Glasgow University, she was a consultant haematologist until her recent retirement. They have a son doing a Phd in Glaciology at Cambridge, a daughter studying medicine in Dundee. But as they welcomed refugee Hosny El Shik into their comfortable southside home, they were putting themselves at the heart of the political issue of the moment.

Our sister paper The Herald revealed yesterday that Mr El Shik's asylum applications have been refused and he has been evicted from his accommodation by the Home Office which believes he is not from Syria, as he claims, but from Algeria. This decision was taken on the basis that an expert analyst believes his accent is not Syrian.

Having volunteered on Sunday to provide shelter to refugees, the Todds came good on their offer by taking Mr El Shik who had nowhere to stay.

It was the media coverage of the refugee crisis which provoked them to come forward and offer space in their home to anyone fleeing a conflict zone.

"We just found what was in the press about the refugee situation too disturbing, " Mrs Todd says. "They just seem to be being treated like animals. You feel helpless."

The couple joined more than 1,100 people who have so far registered their households on a national database after hearing about Positive Action in Housing (PAIH).

The small Glasgow charity has taken on a UK-wide role managing a database of volunteers from Brighton to the Western Isles who have followed the lead of high-profile figures like Nicola Sturgeon and Yvette Cooper in offering to open up their homes to refugees.

"Hosny moved in yesterday evening. He looked utterly deflated, really down, after being turfed out in the most horrendous way by the people who were housing him," says Mrs Todd. "I don't have any concerns and he can stay for as long as he is comfortable."

"He told us he used to work as a welder, making good money and sending some back to support his family. But now he feels he's gone from the top to the bottom. He hate's being dependent and not allowed to use the skills he has got."

The Todd's actions were motivated, she says, by an appreciation of their own good fortune. "We are just aware that we are where we are through sheer luck of birth. It is not because we are inherently better people.

"You watch the coverage and see fathers in tears, desperate parents. If things had been different, what ends would we have gone to as parents to protect our own kids?"

Because their own children have left home, and their large house has rooms empty 90 per cent of the time, it is easy for them to accommodate an individual or a family, the couple say. Because here brother in law is Muslim, Mrs Todd says they can easily respect Mr El Shik's prayer routine and dietary needs. If the match doesn't work out, he could be moved.

Although she sponsors two children through the charity Plan International, Mrs Todd says the couple are aware but not particularly political.

"We are not protestors waving placards or lobbying MPs. Just comfortable middle class people with more than we need."

Robina Qureshi, director of PAIH, said the charity had been impressed by the response from around the country from people willing to come forward and help. PAIH is now managing the database of volunteers on behalf of a network incorporating half a dozen Scottish and around 25 English refugee support charities and is asking the Scottish Government to help support that work.

The charity aims to match volunteers with refugees in need and carries out background checks before approving hosts. Ms Qureshi said: "Audrey Todd and her husband are Positive Action in Housing’s new refugee hosts who agreed at very short notice to take Hosny into their home when he was facing destitution," she said.

"The number of people coming forward shows that the public agree that the UK should take its fair share of refugees, not the token numbers offered by David Cameron, who is out of step."