How you can help?You can help and support us in many different ways. Would you like to become a volunteer? Can you help us financially or donate clothing? Why not join us on a Refugee Tales walk? As a charity with limited means, we are grateful for all help we receive.
Volunteer with us
Become a visitor
Visits are a lifeline for many people in detention. Volunteering as a visitor is challenging but also rewarding. For this reason, qualities such as empathy and impartiality are more valuable to us than any previous experience. Volunteers must have clearly defined boundaries and a realistic understanding of their own limitations.
Introductory session: We hold regular sessions throughout the year, which enable you to meet with us and find out if visiting is for you. Please contact the office if you are interested in attending our next session.
Interview: We interview all potential volunteers.
References: We ask for two character references and check all new volunteers with the Disclosure and Barring Service.
Induction: Our staff will provide a full induction, which includes an accompanied first visit to Tinsley House or Brook House.
Training: We ask new visitors to complete a mandatory session for all new volunteers. This cover the legal aspects of detention, the psychological effects for detainees, cultural awareness and listening skills. We provide regular ongoing training for all of our volunteers throughout the year on various aspects of visiting, often bringing in external trainers.
Our volunteers come from the following catchment areas – Brighton, Crawley, Reigate/Redhill, Horsham, and Oxted/East Grinstead. Local support groups are held every six weeks in each of these areas, to enable visitors to share their experiences with each other. In addition, our staff are on hand during office hours to help with any worries visitors may have concerning the person they are visiting.
If you live in another part of the country and would like to become a visitor, please contact AVID, who can advise you further.
Become an Advocacy Support volunteer
Our Advocacy and Support volunteers provide vital support to detainees, assisting with new enquiries from people detained and helping with casework support. Typical responsibilities are:
Responding to messages and answering faxes and telephone calls from people in detention
Providing telephone support and ongoing emotional support
Responding to initial needs and prioritising urgent cases
Explaining the role of GDWG to new detainees who contact us and gaining their trust
Liaising with solicitors and other professionals – such as doctors and social workers
Assisting detainees to make complaints about mistreatment
Updating the database with relevant information
Assisting staff in running drop-ins and with follow-up
We are currently looking for Advocacy and Support volunteers. If you are interested in this role you can download the job description and application form. Contact email@example.com to apply and for more information.
Become a Refugee Tales volunteer
Refugee Tales volunteers help in the office or on our Refugee Tales walks. We have a range of different roles available, if you are interested in getting involved contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Buy the Refugee Tales books
In Refugee Tales, poets and novelists retell the stories of individuals who have directly experienced Britain’s policy of indefinite immigration detention. Presenting their experiences anonymously, as modern day counterparts to the pilgrim’s stories in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, the books offers rare, intimate glimpses into otherwise untold suffering. What we hear in these stories are the realities of the hostile environment, the human costs of a system that disregards rights, that denies freedoms and suspends lives.
You can buy the Refugee Tales Volume III here or in your local bookshop. Please do share and spread awareness of the inhumanity of indefinite detention.
Become a Friend
Become a Friend of GDWG and help us mark our 25th birthday! We are recognising 25 years of GDWG friendship and support for people in immigration detention. If you would like to become a Friend of GDWG please set up a monthly donation to support our work. You can set up your monthly giving here.
Donate to our work
If you would like to help GDWG financially, you can either make a one-off donation, via Gift Aid: make a gift today or set up a monthly donation. GDWG is a small charity that relies mainly on grant-making trusts to fund its work, but also on private donations that are greatly appreciated. You can also send cheques, made payable to Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group, to our office.
Leaving a gift to charity in your will is a very special way of helping to secure the future for organisations such as GDWG, and has the added benefit of being free from inheritance tax. If you are considering including a legacy to GDWG in your will, we would very much appreciate being informed of your generous act, and we can also provide a Form of Codicil which can be attached to your current will. There is further information in this Legacy leaflet.