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
Gloucester
GL1 4SQ

Telephone: 01452 550528
email: info@garas.org.uk
www.garas.org.uk

Director
Adele Owen

A Surprise Meeting

June 22, 2018

My daughter was married on May 19th. She and Adam had been working on the event for a couple of days at the Tythe Barn, Stanway. They both work in Events and the place looked fantastic.

Adam, my soon to be son-in-law,  asked me if I wanted a microphone practice, if so come to the barn early tomorrow, Saturday, morning.

I didn’t sleep well that night, speeches are not my thing, so I arrived about 8.00am. As I parked up and walked towards the barn perimeter, a yellow vis jacket met me, “Hallo sir can I help you?”

We exchanged pleasantries I explained who I was but the man was still not letting me past. Adam had told him he would be at the venue at 8.30. I was clearly to wait….outside.

I tried small talk, he lived in Gloucester and had done for six years, did I know Gloucester? 

I explained the only time I visited the city was when I did voluntary work.

“Where?”

“At GARAS.” 

His eyes lit up, “Did I know Hannah, Adele, Farouq?” And many other names I didn’t know.

The centre had been a great help to him when he arrived from his African country of origin.

Muhammad, we were now on first name terms, walked me to the barn and we discussed all manner of things about the situation in his home country but also how he had settled in Gloucester and was happy there. He had been working security for sometime and was used to the weird hours. His VW Polo was parked adjacent to the venue and he talked about his flat and friends.

He then asked me what I did at Garas? I told him my wife made up curtains and I hung them for people who had just moved into an empty flat.

“You know my cousin Ahmed.  You hung his curtains. He was out the first time and you came back to do them.”

I remembered, he had gone to the mosque and forgotten me. Muhammad laughed, that was his cousin. 

Adam arrived, Muhammad waved as he drove off and checked that 11pm would be good for that evening.

Makes life worthwhile.

Rob

( some names have been anonomised)