“You will not oppress the alien; you know how an alien feels, for you yourselves were once aliens in Egypt” Exodus 23: 9.
The Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group is a registered charity providing emotional and practical support through its volunteer visitors to asylum seekers and immigration detainees held at Tinsley House and Brook House removal centres near Gatwick Airport. Set up in 1995 the group now has around 70 volunteers.
The Group believes that each person held has a right to be treated with respect and compassion, whatever the outcome of their case. It also has a small staff team who manage the volunteers and provide support and advocacy to detainees, For more information on GDWG click on the logo or read the Help for Immigration Detainees leaflet.
Christina Fitzsimons and Martin Powys-Lybbe are both volunteer visitors for the Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group. Here they describe their inspiring experiences. Christina says:”I have been a volunteer visitor for Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group for 10 years on and off. I first heard that there were immigration removal centres at Gatwick by talking to Fr Paul, who has been involved for many years with Brook House and Tinsley House. I felt drawn to do something and, with great nervousness, I applied to Gatwick Detainess Welfare Group to be one of their volunteer visitors.” Continue reading
Martin says: “It was a Catholic parish in Crawley that first became aware of the detainees at Gatwick and looked into what support they could provide. At that time they were housed in the old Beehive at Gatwick Airport and Fr Paul was one of the first to visit them.” Continue reading
If you would like to talk to someone about the possibility of becoming a volunteer visitor please contact Fr Paul on 01342 710313 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
A call to end indefinite immigration detention
Refugee Tales offers walkers an opportunity to reflect on the long and dangerous journey that many refugees make fleeing war and persecution. Refugee Tales is a walk in solidarity with refugees and detainees to celebrate Refugee Week. It is an outreach project of Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group inspired by the experiences of men held in immigration detention at Gatwick and the work of the Group in 20 years of visiting.
Refugee Tales 2020 details will shortly be available on the Refugee Tales website.