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

Where is the scariest place in the UK?

August 24, 2015

On a fortnightly basis many asylum seekers and others monitored for immigration purposes have to present to Immigration Officers to sign to show their compliance with their requirements under their claim.

For some this will involve going to an Immigration centre and for others a visit to a local police station is required and the Immigration Officers will be present to witness the signatures.

This is scary and takes emotional and physical resources to comply. Because you just never know. You just don’t know if today will be the day they pick you up to start removal proceedings. Today may be the day day they take you from your house and community and put you in a detention centre while they decide what happens next.

Today you may just be humiliated by someone with all the power and a row of witnesses all feeling vulnerable. This is not some kind of punishment for criminals just a form of humiliation for those who have requested a basic human right, the right to be safe.

This is not a short term fear but a fear that can be enacted many times over while waiting court cases and decision makers. And don’t make the mistake of missing your signing because it will come back to affect you in the future.

I have witnessed this fear, it is palpable, even the local police will avoid the signing session held at the police station as they find it uncomfortable.

Lost at sea

April 20, 2015

Another boat over full of desperate people have met the tragedy of enormous loss of lives.

What does it mean to us? How should we react?

We have heard and felt outraged and sickened by the words of Kate Hopkins, but what about us?

We are in the midst of an election where promises are being made to improve our lives and choice between those who may most closely match our idea of what we want.

You see that’s what we all want, a better life for ourselves and those we care about. And we sit indifferently on the sidelines watching others who want to do the same for themselves.

We treated as heroes those involved in the Arab Spring, we idolise those who reach the pinnacles of their careers and yet we treat as villains, those who want to do the same for their families.

It’s desperate, and we need to shout out, we need to ask our candidates what their response to this is, and we need to re engage with the rescue missions in the Mediterranean, because the current policy is just not working.

Changing world with more refugees

June 20, 2014

For more information on current world refugee statistics, check out this BBC article.

Refugee Week Reflection #6

June 20, 2014

World Refugee Day – here are some facts: 51.2 million people have had to flee their homes.  17.9 million leaving their countries.  6.3 million have been living as refugees for many years. Where do they live?  Mostly next door.  For instance, of the 2.5 million from Afghanistan, 1.6 million live in Pakistan.  Ten years ago, 30% managed to get to safety in wealthy countries.  Today that has dropped to 14%.  So of that, we work with a minuscule number.  But I hope that what I have spoken of this week shows loud and clear that every single one of these is a human being with the same longings, cares and hopes as you and me.

RIP Jimmy Mubenga

February 18, 2014

It may be a while since the tragic death of Jimmy Mubenga and subsequent enquiry.  But, check out the following song about it:


Sadly it is not only off the UK shores that asylum seekers die, trying to find to find safety, as illustrated by the disheartening news from Australia.