Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group


"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

GDWG Newsletter Autumn 2017



GDWG-Quilt1     GDWG volunteers worked with Pound Hill Junior School in Crawley, detainees in Tinsley House Immigration Removal Centre at Gatwick, ex-detainees and supporters from local community organisations to sew this quilt on the occasion of Refugee Week in 2014. The quilt was sewn to depict journeys and the Hand of Friendship to those seeking sanctuary in the UK      

Worth Abbey Logo Quilt Square 





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." Read more 




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."  Read more

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  


Refugee Tales Walk, 1st - 5th July 2017 



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 offers walkers an opportunity to reflect on the long and dangerous journey that many refugees make fleeing war and persecution





              Christina Fitzsimons on the 2015 walk (photo courtesy of Chris Orange)       


Christina writes: This year is the third Refugee Tales walk. Refugee Tales is hard to describe. It is more than a walk. It is a mixture of walking and arts events.

During the day the walkers will be walking along the Thames Path starting at Runnymede and five days later arriving in Westminster. The walk is very varied and beautiful and goes through some stunning countryside. 

In the evenings there are free events where tales are told and music played. The tales are true stories of the experiences of being a refugee which have been told to a well-known writer and which are 'performed' by the writer. The music showcases some of the best world music.

The project aims to highlight the reality of being a refugee and in particular to raise awareness of the harms done (and the money wasted) by the UK's policy of indefinite detention of refugees and migrants. 

All are welcome to join to walk for a day or days or the whole five days. The evening events are free and open to all. Details of the itinerary for the 2017 walk and a booking form are on



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