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
General enquiries: info@garas.org.uk
Administrative enquiries: admin@garas.org.uk
www.garas.org.uk

Director
Adele Owen

Ukraine

Alongside everyone, we watch with horror at the situation in Ukraine. We are delighted to announce that we have a new Ukrainian Advice and Support Team, who are available over the phone or at our regular drop in sessions (Monday, 10am-4pm; Wednesday, 10am-5pm; Friday, 10am-4pm). Please do get in touch with this team if you are Ukrainian and are hosting family, or are a UK host under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme.

For other details of the local response in Gloucester, please visit this page on the Gloucester County Council website.

If you would like to register your home to host a Ukrainian family, please visit the government website: https://homesforukraine.campaign.gov.uk/. Alternatively, please visit Refugees at Home, a charity that has vast experience of hosting refugees, to find out more about offering your home through them.

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Green Impact Report

GARAS believes in the re-use, re-purposing and re-cycling of goods and services to support vulnerable clients from all over the globe as they regain independence, re-gain dignity, re-gain their lives and move forward. We are hugely excited to announce that we have been presented with a Gold Award for our Green Impact.

We have a green commitment policy which includes the following:

  • we are part of the Fareshares food waste redistribution programme. FareShare is the UK’s national network of charitable food redistributors, fighting hunger whilst tackling food waste: https://fareshare.org.uk/
  • we help match items of furniture, bikes, household goods and other items to clients, which reduces the number of items going to landfill, as well as being of huge benefit to our clients
  • our outdoor space even has bug hotels!

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Houses for Afghan families

If you, or anyone who you know, has a 2+ bedroom house for rent in Cirencester or 3+ bedroom house available to rent elsewhere in Gloucestershire, we would be delighted to hear from you.  GARAS has an excellent housing management programme, which we have been running for several years: for more information please email Jennie Watts (admin@garas.org.uk) who will be pleased to speak with you.

If you would like to purchase a personal shopping trolley for a family, we desperately need several. Please drop these at our centre: The Trust Centre, Falkner Street, Gloucester, GL1 4SQ.

Unfortunately, due to a lack of storage space, we are unable to accept donations of furniture, clothing, bedding, cots etc. 

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All They Will Call You

GARAS volunteer, Ian Parker-Dodd, has written a collection of poetry entitled All They Will Call You.  Ian says, “this book was inspired in the time that I spent helping teach unaccompanied migrant children at GARAS for the four years leading up to the pandemic.”  As well as the thought-provoking, and at times provocative, poems, there are additional prose contributions from others connected to GARAS.

The stunning front cover is a Derek Robertson painting, Children of the Clouds, and the book has been thoughtfully and beautifully produced.  Adele Owen, Director of GARAS, says “this is an inspirational book.  As I read some of the poems, I was transported afresh into the world and experience of others.  We are delighted and privileged to have worked alongside Ian over the years, and for this book to be one of the positive results of his work with us.”

All They Will Call You is available to buy from GARAS, at a cost of £10 per copy, with a voluntary donation of £1.50 to cover p&p.  All proceeds will go towards the work of GARAS.  If you would like to purchase a copy, please email admin@garas.org.uk.

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GEM – Going the Extra Mile

GARAS is proud to continue to be working in conjunction with GEM, with our marvellous member of the team, Sarah.  

The GEM Project is an employability and social inclusion programme, helping people in Gloucestershire to overcome challenges to employment and move them closer towards or into work.

It is a unique partnership of nearly 50 community based organisations, managed by Gloucestershire Gateway Trust on behalf of the lead organisation Gloucestershire County Council and is jointly funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and European Social Fund.

Individuals signed up to the GEM Project receive personalised one to one support from a Navigator Developer to help them achieve their career based goal, developing life skills, building confidence and self-esteem, whilst overcoming any barriers which prevented them from finding work previously.

For more information about the GEM Project visit www.glosgem.org

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Kinder Transport Anniversary Celebration

Here is a link to a You Tube video of the amazing event held at St Mary de Crypt on the 18th June 2019. This is an opportunity to here the speakers from that occasion and be moved by the various stories told that night.

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