Love not Hate

In view of the hideous incident in New Zealand and the hate that leads to such a terrible crime, I would like to double up our efforts to ensure that we succeed in our attempt to create a world record today in our Big Hug.

It may seem trivial to be promoting such an event at such a time, but surely it is only by standing shoulder to shoulder that we can say “enough”? Surely it is through recognising our common humanity that we can change the world?

So if you live in Gloucestershire and have a nationality that is not British and have ID to show that, please come and join us. Please help us send out a different message.


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Moving Times

GARAS is on the move. By this time next month we will be getting set up in our new premises. It feels really disruptive and the challenge of sorting and packing and all the other matters is all time consuming. There are so many aspects to consider, so many contacts to cover.

And yet we are only moving five minutes away. We have been able to pop in and out of our new home. We are planning the changes that are needed and organising how we manage the move. We have a date in the diary, its in our hands.

So imagine what it is like when none of this is in your control. When you have never seen your new home, you don’t know what you will experience and how you will be welcomed. You don’t know where you you sleep at night. Control is removed.

It is extraordinary what people manage.

We have been welcoming some more families and it is important to us that we help get their new homes ready for them. It is always a delight to welcome them into their new homes. It is particularly good when we can help dreams become reality.

Yesterday a new family came. The eleven year old had been out of education and had expressed a desire just to have a desk. Their room was prepared with a bunk bed with desk attached. On seeing their new room they exclaimed ” now I can write poems again!”

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Happy New Year

Here is to 2019 and whatever it may bring.

The year ended at this end with a client coming in having just received their status after 11 long years of waiting!

This year will have more situations like that, I am sure.

And this is the reality, the years of uncertainty, the fear of the past and an inability to plan for the future. This is in clear contrast to the images that started to raise their heads last week as it became apparent that a tiny number of people had managed to make their way across the Channel. The language being used and the views expressed were so shocking and so out of proportion to the reality, that it is important that we challenge such views as quickly as possible.

I suspect that as the year gets under way and other stories emerge this story will disappear and we will be caught up in the question of, “What happens on the 29th March?”.

We know, that for GARAS, this year will hold its own challenges and joys. We consider the future and our move, also in March, to new premises. More on that in the next few weeks.

And we will be celebrating 20 years of GARAS, there will be a number of really exciting events to mark this over the coming months so please look out for these and we will be keeping you informed.

Thank you for all your support as we move into these changing times.


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Giving Tuesday

Today has become known as Giving Tuesday, and opportunity after Black Friday to think about giving and donating between the spending spree of Black Friday and the costs of Christmas.

Giving comes in so many ways, so I want to take the opportunity to thank our wonderful volunteers who give of themselves week after week out of their own generosity of time to support the work of GARAS, and they do that in so many varied ways.

I also want to thank our committed donors whose on going and regular giving frees us up to assist clients in different ways.

And thank you to all who will take the opportunity today to give to GARAS, all giving warms our hearts and encourages us to keep going.

Thank you all so much, you are wonderful people.

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Giving Tuesday

You can’t miss Black Friday, but have you heard of GIVING TUESDAY? Tuesday 27th November.
We link with CAF Donate (Charities Aid Foundation) and they have a prize draw planned. If we receive a donation through CAF Donate on Giving Tuesday (27th November), we will be entered into their prize draw for a charity to win a £250 bonus. Simply visit .

If you’re feeling generous (or have a few pennies to spare, please consider offsetting some of your Black Friday purchasing by donating to GARAS on Giving Tuesday. Here’s the link again: . Thank you

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please nominate us

Dear Friends and supporters of GARAS,

Ecclesiastical Insurance is inviting people to nominate a registered charity close to their hearts to benefit from a festive boost. Nominations are open now, and you can vote for your favourite charity at

Each weekday from 6 to 21 December, 10 charities will win £1,000. That’s £120,000 to 120 charities in 12 days!

You will require our Charity Number if you wish to nominate us and it is 1082388

The more nominations they receive supporting us the greater our chance of being a recipient, so thank you in advance. We rely on donations to help make a significant difference to the work of GARAS such as helping clients get to appointments or helping with a salary to continue to provide the best advice we can to our vulnerable clients.

Thank you

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jobs and opportunities

Dear readers,

A coupler of issues from GARAS maybe of interest to you.

Please be aware that GARAS is looking for another person to join the (Syrian) Resettlement Team. Here is the job ad:

Support Officer

Gloucestershire Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers is seeking applications for the Post of Resettlement Support Officer

Full Time: 37.5 Hours a week (with some ‘on call’ requirements)

Salary: £23,111 NJC Scale 25

Location: Gloucester but some travel required

Closing date: 9am Monday 12th November 2018

Interview date: Tuesday 20th November 2018

This one year post aims to work with Syrian Refugees arriving in Gloucester/shire under the Syrian Resettlement Scheme and help them to start their new lives in the UK. This will involve supporting individuals and families through the stages of integration, including preparation and planning prior to their arrival; housing; financial support; access into education; health and employment. The post holder will be working within a team

Post is subject to Disclosure and Barring Checks.

For information and application pack please e-mail: info or telephone: 01452 550528.

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