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

The Strangers

June 19, 2014

Below is a poem written especially for Gloucester Refugee Day.  It was read it out by the poet Phil Wood.  We would like to thank Brunswick Baptist for their hospitality and warm welcome to GARAS clients today.

The Strangers

They come to us seeking refuge,

From countries both near and far,

In fear of persecution or torture,

Escaping the conflicts of war.


Who knows what fate had to offer?

Whether they lived or they die!

In a fight they had no chance of winning,

No matter how hard they tried.


Now far away from their families,

In a strange unfamiliar land,

People talking to them as a foreigner,

In a language they don’t understand.


How strange it must all seem to them,

I wonder how I would cope,

If I had to run from my homeland,

With nothing before me but hope.


Let’s welcome our brothers and sisters,

Show them the love that we can,

Treat them as one of our family,

Share in the brotherhood of man.


Syrian Refugee Resettlement

January 30, 2014

Thank you to everyone who wrote to your MP concerning the motion for the Government to allow victims of the Syrian crisis to resettle in the UK. Whilst the Government has chosen not to participate in the UNHCR Resettlement and Humanitarian Admission of Syrian Refugees programme, they have agreed to help resettle some of the most vulnerable refugees, including women who are victims of sexual violence and torture and children. This is but a drop in the ocean, but will make a difference to those people’s lives. For more information please visit the Refugee Council website or BBC.

Syrian refugees

September 24, 2013

Click here for details of contacting your MP about accepting refugees from Syria given the current crisis.

The following is taken from the Refugee Council: On Monday night, the Prime Minister called Syria the “refugee crisis of our time”. Sadly, he is right. At more than 2 million, Syrians are now the largest refugee group in the world. 52% of these are children.

I am writing to ask you to email your MP calling on the Government to provide a safe haven to some of the most vulnerable fleeing the war.

The vast majority of Syrian refugees are seeking protection in one of the crowded camps on the border in extremely difficult conditions. Only 0.1% of Syrians fleeing the violence have found safety in the UK.

Today, we are urging David Cameron to take practical action to ease the strain on neighbouring countries that are near breaking point. We want the Government to work with other European Union member states to establish a Europe-wide humanitarian evacuation and resettlement programme.

We need your help

Please email your MP today calling on the UK Government to share some of the responsibility for protecting the most vulnerable people fleeing the conflict. You can do this quickly and simply via the Refugee Council website.

Tell your MP that the UK must help the most vulnerable fleeing the war find safety.

Thank you.

Minister for Immigration on the Radio

August 22, 2013

On Friday 23rd August, the Minister for Immigration Mark Harper MP will be answering questions on BBC Radio Gloucestershire between 10:30 and 11:30am. Listen out for what could be some interesting question and answers. Remember that Mark is also the MP for the Forest of Dean. So remember that if you are one of his constituents, whenever you write to him you are writing to the Immigration Minister directly.

We occasionally run campaigns. If you are interested in being added to our campaigns list, please contact info@garas.org.uk .

BBC Radio Gloucestershire can be heard in the county on the following frequencies:

104.7 FM
1413 MW
95 FM in Stroud
95.8 FM in Cirencester

Film Screening

August 6, 2013

The BAFTA nominated feature film “I Am Nasrine,” will be screening at the Gloucester Guildhall on August 13th and 14th. Please find the screening info as well as a short bio about the film below. Thank in advance for all of your help.

August 13th – Gloucester Guildhall @ 7:45 PM
August 14th – Gloucester Guildhall @ 2:00 PM

Tickets can be purchased at http://iamnasrine.com/screenings

I Am Nasrine: A film about love, finding oneself and the eternal search for home.

When you change where you are do you change who you are? I Am Nasrine is an intimate journey of self-discovery and ultimately reveals the unfolding of a soul. Set in modern day Tehran, and the UK, the film follows the paths of Nasrine and Ali, sister and brother in a comfortable, middle class Iranian home. When Nasrine has a run-in with the police, the punishment is more than she bargained for. At her father’s bidding, Nasrine and Ali set out for the UK, torn about leaving behind their home and all that they know, embarking on a reluctant exile. Still, for Nasrine, there is undeniable excitement about the prospect of starting a new life in the West, and an eagerness for its promise of new freedoms. Arriving in Britain, their fate and their future are far from certain. Nasrine is quick to settle into her new life, making friends, forming bonds, including Nichole from the gypsy/travelers community. All the while her brother Ali struggles with the realities of life in the UK and his awakening sexuality. Then comes 9/11. Their parents will be unable to join them in Britain, leaving them quite alone. Things spiral further out of control when an unimaginable tragedy occurs. Nasrine must discover an incredible courage within her to accept what fate has dealt her; discovering that the end of her journey is really just the beginning. Can hope, simple untainted hope, overcome the darkest of tragedies? I Am Nasrine explores these questions and more, and offers answers that are sure to surprise.

I Am Nasrine Trailer: www.tinyurl.com/iamnasrine

I Am Nasrine Audience Response Feedback: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uSMR6UVA3U&feature=youtu.be

I Am Nasrine Facebook page: www.facebook.com/iamnasrine

I Am Nasrine website : www.iamnasrine.com