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
General enquiries: info@garas.org.uk
Administrative enquiries: admin@garas.org.uk
www.garas.org.uk

Director
Adele Owen

Urgent Needs

We are in urgent need of bike lights and D-locks, and strollers (small buggies for children). Thank you!

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Afghanistan Appeal

We are still accepting donations of larger furniture to help rehouse Afghan families allocated to Gloucestershire: please contact Jennie Watts (admin@garas.org.uk) with photos, and she will respond to let you know if we can make good use of it.

Unfortunately, due to a lack of storage space as well as the restrictions of Covid, we are unable to accept donations of clothing, bedding, cots etc. 

If you, or anyone who you know, has a 2+ bedroom house available to rent in Cirencester, please contact us urgently as we have Afghan families waiting to be housed.   GARAS has an excellent housing management programme, which we have been running for several years: guaranteed rent, and the house will be managed by GARAS. For more information please email Jennie Watts (admin@garas.org.uk).

If you, or anyone who you know, has a 3+ bedroom house available to rent elsewhere in Gloucestershire, we would be delighted to hear from you.

If you would like to purchase a personal shopping trolley for a family, we desperately need several. Please drop these at our centre: The Trust Centre, Falkner Street, Gloucester, GL1 4SQ.

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Other needs:

As well as the general list of donations below, we currently have a need for laptops and tablets in good working condition. Many of our clients face digital poverty in addition to other needs, and for those with children who need to be home schooled during the current pandemic, laptops and tablets (with working webcams) are vital.

If you are able to help with any of these requests, please contact our office on 01452 550528, or info@garas.org.uk. Thank you!

We are also grateful and open to receiving the following donations:

 Food, household goods and toiletries:

~ You can download and print off shopping lists for ongoing, general practical donations here

~ New or nearly new kettles, toasters & microwaves for clients who are moving house. 

~ Please contact us if you have furniture you wish to donate.  We do not have storage so unfortunately cannot use everything that is offered.  (If you have any storage available in Gloucester, we would be interested to hear from you.)

– Educational materials to give to or use with clients in our English classes:

~ Pens for our English classes.

~ Dictionaries: Arabic-English dictionary (please click here for link), English-Farsi picture dictionary (please click here for link), Amharic-English and Tigrinya-English dictionaries. Also the Oxford Essential Dictionary (aimed at those learning English) (please click here for link, also available on Ebay).

– Miscellaneous:

~ Serviced bicycles (especially men’s bikes, to help clients to get to job interviews and work, and children’s bikes for our unaccompanied asylum-seeking children). Bikes can be serviced at a very reasonable price at Gloucester Bike Project.

~ Backpacks, D locks, bike lights and high vis jackets for clients who cycle.

~ Rucksacks (daysacks) for students for school and college.

~ Footballs, sizes 3, 4 and 5, which we can give to recently arrived refugee children.

~ Nice material for the women’s sewing group for dressmaking.

~ Laptops & tablets: If you have a laptop to donate, these would be particularly appreciated by our clients currently living in digital poverty. A lack of access to the internet can deny clients job opportunities and access to benefits, whilst children cannot be home schooled in the current pandemic without a laptop or tablet with a working webcam. Please contact us on 01452 550528, or info@garas.org.uk if you have a laptop or tablet to donate – we will ensure they are wiped of any previous information before passing them on.

~ Kites and children’s bikes, for our unaccompanied asylum seeking children.

We regret that we are unable to take the following donations (please refer to the charities mentioned below, as we work with, and refer clients to, these organisations):

  • Clothing: we are unable to take donations of clothes. Instead, we suggest you take these along to a charity shop, for example the Salvation Army shop on Eastgate Street, GL1 1QU or Elim charity shop Lifelink, Park End Rd, GL1 5AN where clients can obtain them at an affordable price. 
  • Furniture: larger furniture may be of use for the Afghan Resettlement Programme – please email photos to admin@garas.org.uk. However, if we are unable to make good use of the furniture, it can be offered to the Furniture Recycling Project, Emmaus or other similar organisations.
  • Children’s items: we work with Gloucestershire Bundles so please refer to them for what they need – through their facebook page or website. Look out for details of their drop off days to find out which items they are accepting.