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
email: info@garas.org.uk

Adele Owen

Syrian Refugee Resettlement

January 30, 2014

Thank you to everyone who wrote to your MP concerning the motion for the Government to allow victims of the Syrian crisis to resettle in the UK. Whilst the Government has chosen not to participate in the UNHCR Resettlement and Humanitarian Admission of Syrian Refugees programme, they have agreed to help resettle some of the most vulnerable refugees, including women who are victims of sexual violence and torture and children. This is but a drop in the ocean, but will make a difference to those people’s lives. For more information please visit the Refugee Council website or BBC.

Act now to help Syrian refugees

January 24, 2014

There is a motion to be debated and voted on Wednesday, which reads:

That this House welcomes the Government’s £600 million response to the unprecedented Syrian refugee crisis, welcomes the UK’s leadership in the appeal for aid and supports calls for the rest of the international community to ensure the UN humanitarian appeal for Syria has the resources it needs to help those suffering from the conflict; is concerned about the plight of the most vulnerable refugees who will find it hardest to cope in the camps in the region, including victims of torture and children in need of special assistance; and calls on the Government to participate in the UNHCR Resettlement and Humanitarian Admission of Syrian Refugees programme.

In light of this, please contact your MP now to encourage them and David Cameron to make a difference and act now for the UK to help Syrian refugees.   This link to the Refugee Council website should help you do just that.


Women in the News

January 16, 2014

This week, Beyonce has been in the news, saying that gender equality is not a reality yet.

Too right, when you read stories like these in the news: Of female foetuses reportedly being aborted, and British Kurdish women being strip searched and robbed by the police in the UK.

A lot more needs to change.   International Women’s Day on Sat 8th March 2014 can’t come soon enough.

Here at GARAS we have a dedicated women’s worker, who is here to give advice and support to vulnerable women in Gloucestershire (who may be the victim of domestic abuse; trafficking; or destitute through the asylum system).  If you would like to find out more or help support this work, please visit www.garas.org.uk .

Shopping vouchers for Officers who succeed in asylum seekers losing their appeals

January 15, 2014

Current Home Office practice is exposed here.

Our experience working with clients echoes the belief of Duncan Lewis, that clients with credible cases about to go to appeal, turn up to court only to find the Home Office have withdrawn their decision.  This leads to a time of ‘limbo’ where clients wait, without any timescale, for a new decision and new court date.  All the while living in uncertainty about their future status in Britain.

You can contact your MP to raise concerns about these practices.

Refugee Boy takes to the stage

January 14, 2014

Benjamin Zephaniah’s book ‘Refugee Boy’ is one of our recommended reads on our website.

The book is now taking to the stage.  Here are the venues showing the productions:

Thu, 6th February 2014 to Sat, 8th February 2014
West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds»
Tue, 11th February 2014 to Thu, 13th February 2014
Southbank Centre, West End»
Thu, 27th February 2014 to Sat, 1st March 2014
Hull Truck Theatre, Hull»
Tue, 4th March 2014 to Sat, 8th March 2014
New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich»
Wed, 12th March 2014 to Sat, 15th March 2014
Citizens Theatre, Glasgow»
Tue, 18th March 2014 to Sat, 22nd March 2014
Northern Stage (previously known as Newcastle Haymarket Playhouse), Newcastle upon Tyne» {1}
Tue, 25th March 2014 to Wed, 26th March 2014
The Playhouse, Oxford»
Tue, 8th April 2014 to Sat, 12th April 2014
Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Birmingham»
For more info, check out this review from the Guardian.