Our Mission

At GARAS (Gloucestershire Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers) we offer support to those seeking asylum in Gloucestershire, welcoming them when they arrive, advocating for them in their daily struggles, supporting them if they face being sent back as well as helping them adjust to their long term future if they are recognised as refugees.

Contact Information

Gloucestershire Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers (GARAS)
The Trust Centre
Falkner St

Telephone: 01452 550528
General enquiries: info@garas.org.uk
Administrative enquiries: admin@garas.org.uk

Adele Owen

Refugee Week – Tuesday

June 16, 2015

Did you happen to hear One-to-one this morning? On Radio 4?

It was an interview with a refugee who had made the journey from political prisoner to safety in the UK.

It got me thinking about our own journeys and why we make them. Have you ever had to leave your home? I don’t mean for holidays, or when its a positive decision. I am thinking about those decisions that are forced upon us by circumstances beyond our control. It might be fairly straightforward like lack of opportunities at home and the necessity to move to find work. It may be through domestic issues which are no longer manageable or it may be because it is no longer safe at home.

Whatever our reasons, it’s very challenging. Our lives are disrupted, we feel out of control, in unfamiliar settings. Maybe you remember the challenges of starting at University or a new job? We need to form new relationships and don’t know who we can trust. In our familiar places we are understood in new places the context has gone, how do we recover that? Do we have to explain ourselves all the time? How do we manage the new culture that we find ourselves in?

So what does that mean for those forced to leave everything, to uproot and flee? To start a new life again is a multiple of all those emotions and more.

May I encourage you to think about what that might mean? To stop and feel that challenge and to grasp a little of our shared humanity, and then reach out to welcome and to help to share a little of that burden.