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

In the lead up to the Election – some ideas from GARAS

May 12, 2017


The General Election is now 27 days away and here we are again thinking about the effect that policies can have on the work we do at GARAS and on the lives of our clients. It is a challenge to narrow this down to a manageable number for campaigning purposes. However, there are a few areas of concern that you may wish to ask your Parliamentary candidates about as the campaigns heat up, manifestos are completed and messages are conveyed to the population.

There are two main areas of concern that I would encourage us to contemplate, specifically Immigration around asylum seekers and access to education. I will be posting a different part to this each week in the lead up to the 8th June.

Firstly, I would like to raise a vital topic, which has far reaching consequences for those involved: Education. Over the past few years, we have found it increasingly difficult to assist young people into education from about 15 years old upwards. There are a number of reasons for this, including independent decision making due to schools having become Academies, and therefore being outside LEA (Local Education Authority) control and the influence of League Tables on schools in their consideration of taking a risk to accept a young person. From 16 upwards this becomes even harder where there are fewer 6th Forms and Colleges and where there is a reluctance to accept young people outside the normal term starts which can mean it is possible for nearly an entire year to pass before education is begun. This is so frustrating for a group of young people very keen to learn and to study and to contribute. And is not good when young people then have so much time on their hands.

Ask your parliamentary candidates to ensure that every child in Gloucestershire can access education, and to address schools and colleges which will not allow new arrivals to attend full time if at all. Where funding is a concern, ask them to ensure education receives reasonable monies for the betterment of children of today, our leaders of tomorrow.