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



Our drop-in centre offers:

  • a safe-space – our clients have suffered the indignity of passing through a variety of official bodies and therefore it is important that GARAS feels an easy place to come to
  • information, advocacy and advice on health, benefits, immigration, education, careers etc
  • access to other services
  • food, bedding and household items for urgent needs
  • trauma counselling – many clients have experienced trauma, bereavement, abuse in various ways and require help from our psychotherapists

Opening times:

GARAS is open for drop in:

Monday:            10am – 4pm
Wednesday:      10am – 4pm
Friday:               10am – 4pm

Appointments can be made on Tuesdays and Thursdays and telephone enquiries can be made during normal office hours.

Myth Busting


Here is a quick guide to the definitions regularly used and misused

  • Asylum seeker: is someone who is fleeing persecution in their homeland and has arrived in another country, made themselves known to the authorities and legally applied for the right to be recognised as a refugee
  • Refugee: is someone whose asylum application is successful and is allowed to stay in the host country
  • Failed asylum seeker: has had their application turned down and is awaiting return to their home country. It may be unsafe to return and therefore be sometime before they can.
  • Illegal immigrant: is a person who arrives in another country and does not inform the authorities of their presence.
  • Economic migrant: is one who has arrived in a new country in order to work

Asylum seekers just want to be safe:

  • they have the right to apply for asylum in the UK – therefore cannot be “illegal” or bogus.
  • they do not come for economic purposes
  • the UK is a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention on the Rights of the Refugee and therefore guarantees the right to anyone to apply.
  • Most refugees in the world have no choice in their destination and only go to a neighbouring country
  • The UK system is tough – there have been several recent pieces of legislation that have made this tougher
  • Asylum seekers do not get large handouts from the state, they receive 30% less than those on benefits and are not allowed to work
  • Asylum seekers are more likely to be the victims of crime than the perpetrators
  • Refugees make a huge contribution to the UK.

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