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

Refugee Week – Day Two

June 21, 2016

World Refugee Day

I had intended to provide a brief history to the responsibilities we have legally, never mind ethically!  But I have only just got home and maybe, given today, it may be more appropriate to say a little about children, children on their own, somehow surviving against all kinds of odds.  Over the years I have worked with asylum seekers and refugees, it is frequently the children who have touched me most.

What does it take a parent or a family member to come to the conclusion that sending your child on some extraordinary journey is the best for them?

What does it say about the situation that they are in that this the best option, the best future?

Scars both physical and emotional can be very visible and yet so to is the resilience, the commitment to hard work, the ready smile and the childlike trust.

We have been looking at some of the initiatives that are coming into play to support children through Resettlement, Family Reunion in Europe and the so called Lord Dubbs amendment.
Yet today has also involved discussions about the additional legal constraints that are being placed upon these youngsters, withdrawal of access to services and legal help all being implemented through the most recent Immigration Act and a build up of creating a “hostile environment “.
Happy World Refugee Day!

-Adele

Refugee Children in Europe

April 26, 2016

Following this disappointing news not to resettle 3000 vulnerable unaccompanied children from Europe to Britain, please consider signing this petition and sharing, to get the government to rethink this decision. https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/128833

Refugee Week Reflections #3

June 17, 2014

In the late 1930s, Kindertransport saved the lives of many children when families took the risk to save their children even if they lost their own lives. Today parents and families make the same kind of choices. 


Some of the most inspiring people I meet are the Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children. They make extraordinarily scary journeys to attempt to find safety.  We have worked with well over 100 young people each with their own story of death and danger and multiple bereavements.


Some stick out amongst them all, I will never forget the brothers who had fled Afghanistan after their family had been blown up.  The older brother, around 16 had led his highly traumatised 11 year brother across many borders in an attempt to find safety.  There were no available foster carers in Gloucester on their arrival, so I took them to a cheap local hotel while something could be sorted out. Little brother was one of the most withdrawn individuals I have met and I could make little progress in attempting him to feel a little bit safer.


On our way to the hotel he found a football in our car and suddenly in the mirror I caught his eyes, which had brightened up as he clutched the ball.  I assured them that they could keep it, anything to keep that small look of hope grow.  But as we got out at the hotel the older brother said no….he had become so used to having to make decisions to avoid carrying anything other than the essentials, he couldn’t take this gift..


They’re just kids…..