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

Refugee Week Reflections

June 17, 2014

Here are some reflections written by one of the team on the work we do.  There will be more popping up during the week.  Look out for them, as we recognise Refugee Week.

Given the conference that has just ended in London, I thought I would tell you about some of the women I have worked with who have experienced such violence. 

In the 2004/5 we worked with several women from the DRC. Of them 90% had experienced sexual violence, rape as a weapon of war. They are all memorable, but the one who haunts me still is the woman I sat with in a Gloucester police cell for many hours. She had been threatened with being returned and yet had been such a victim. She was in a terrible state because she had been held in a police cell in Kinshasa where she was gang raped. 

A period in Yarlswood did nothing to help her self worth and after release she quietly disappeared as she couldn’t take the pressure any more. 

I pray that somewhere she is safe.


Women in the News

January 16, 2014

This week, Beyonce has been in the news, saying that gender equality is not a reality yet.

Too right, when you read stories like these in the news: Of female foetuses reportedly being aborted, and British Kurdish women being strip searched and robbed by the police in the UK.

A lot more needs to change.   International Women’s Day on Sat 8th March 2014 can’t come soon enough.

Here at GARAS we have a dedicated women’s worker, who is here to give advice and support to vulnerable women in Gloucestershire (who may be the victim of domestic abuse; trafficking; or destitute through the asylum system).  If you would like to find out more or help support this work, please visit www.garas.org.uk .