Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group

Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group

Charity information

Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group

Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group is a registered charity, set up to provide emotional and practical support to asylum seekers and other immigration detainees held at Tinsley House and Brook House Immigration Removal Centres, on the perimeter of Gatwick Airport. The focus of our work is in our visiting scheme, whereby our team of around 70 volunteers visit individual detainees for the duration of their stay in detention. Detainees are often very frightened, confused and lonely, and our intention is to try and relieve some of the stress associated with indefinite detention. We also provide more practical support, particularly in terms of the provision of clothing, phonecards and toiletries, as well as signposting services to legal advice and other relevant agencies.

Immigration detainees are some of the most marginalised people in the UK, living on the very periphery of society, with few rights and no way of knowing how long they will be held there or what will happen when they are released. We believe that these people should be treated with dignity and respect, and afforded every opportunity to exercise their rights. Many of the people we see have lost everything: family, possessions, homeland. The treatment that they receive in this country only serves to compound these feelings of loss, and many we see are suffering from mental health problems, compounded further by their detention. We see our job as showing compassion and solidarity, and trying to give some hope where previously there may have been none.

Founded 1995