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

What can I do?

August 28, 2015

In view of the tragedies on the borders of Europe over the past few days, it is more apparent than ever that the response of many many people is very caring and concerned.

I have received many wonderful offers of help and expressions of frustration at an inability to oppose the rhetoric emanating from some of the press, some of which are being highlighted here on the blog this week. I am also frequently asked what can be done, so here are my suggestions:

1. Be informed there is a lot of misinformation and lies told about asylum seekers and refugees and all who need to flee their home countries.  (There are some links here on the GARAS website, scroll down to the bottom of the page.)
And be happy to challenge that misinformation. (Tricky sometimes, but worth it.)

2. Write – to your MP, the local press, the national press.  Show them you care, show them there is another voice.  (Again, for an example, you may like to check out our website, under ‘Online donations, support and campaigning’.)

3. Offer time – it may be there are volunteering opportunities around. Or collections to go to those in need.  (There are some examples of these on Facebook if you have a look.)

4. Give – all the organisations that are supporting asylum seekers need financial support to keep that work going. That may be giving to your local organisation, like GARAS, so that we can help those here, it may be at a national level. It could be for organisations who are working with those in Calais, Greece, Hungary, Macedonia or Italy, or it could be to organisations such as the UNHCR, who are working with millions of refugees and displaced peoples in very dire situations.

5.  Pray – if you are someone who prays, why not do this too?  For peace and a change in the rhetoric, for positive action and no more fear, that those who are forced to flee will be welcomed along their journey and a resolution to conflict that has forced them to flee in the first place.


August 27, 2015

I have been collecting for the migrants/asylum seekers in Calais … and have some bedding too that I can donate to GARAS… I’m thinking of going to the camp and volunteering in the school for a few days.  There has been a recent surge of people wanting to help on Facebook nationally – so lovely to know that this counters the awful rhetoric put out by the Government and the media.”

On Thursday 3rd September 2015 at 3pm, we will host a conference at GARAS entitled,
“InHumanE Rights? What is happening in Asylum?”
Our main speaker will be Dr Nick Gill from the University of Exeter. He will present on ‘Inhumanity in our time: Perspectives on border control and asylum in Britain’. There will then be some updates on immigration policy changes from the GARAS team and tea and cake afterwards. If you’d like to come, please RSVP to info@garas.org.uk .
In the week leading up to this, we’ll be posting snippets from emails into the GARAS inbox, showing some more of the positive, caring, compassionate response to the migrant crisis well documented in the press. All emails have been received in the past month.