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.
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.
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 https://cafdonate.cafonline.org/4152#/DonationDetails .
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: https://cafdonate.cafonline.org/4152#/DonationDetails . Thank you
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 http://www.ecclesiastical.com/12-days/
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.
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:
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.
Just to let people know, that due to a low take up we have had to postpone the Interpreters Training that was due to start next week at GARAS.
If you, or anyone you know, may be interested in considering Interpreting and in particular, within a Therapeutic setting please let us know and we will reschedule this for later this autumn.
I think I may have mentioned before how varied a life I get to lead and how many interesting people I meet. This is always true through the interaction with our clients, but is also in the conversations I have when I visit different groups and schools to talk about our work. Just this week I had a lovely time at Field Court Junior School where I spent time with all the Year 6 groups. What an inspiration they are and what wonderful questions and conversations we enjoyed.
One girl asked, “Can it really be right to put up barbed wire to stop people being safe?”. Absolutely – it’s responses like this that encourage me for the future.
Yesterday I spent time with a lovely group of women at the other end of their lives. Amongst them was one who had been interred in Sumatra during the Second World War. As she is now 86 she has strong memories of that time and the effect on her parents, (her mother was 3 1/2 stone when they were freed!). She was put to work as a ten year old.
A second woman was a refugee from Poland. Her father and uncle had escaped after the the war, but it was not until the mid 1950’s that she and her mother managed to escape from the grip of communism and be reunited with her father.
What amazing stories, what a great reminder that so many of us have such an interesting and revealing past.