Monday, 29 November 2010

In Scotland, a new support service for LGBT asylum seekers

The UNITY Centre has decided to launch a unique new confidential service aimed at Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and  Transgender asylum seekers.

Due to be officially launched on Tuesday 7 December, at the Unity Centre, the  new service will be a confidential telephone support service for all asylum in Scotland who face difficulties or need support due to issues related  to their sexuality.

LGBT asylum seekers are often isolated from the religious and ethnic support networks that other asylum seekers normally depend upon in the UK. Often religious and ethnic groups in the UK hold the same homophobic prejudices that exist in the country of origin that the LGBT asylum seeker is fleeing from. At the same time ignorance and prejudice about LGBT issues are prevalent in the UKBA and throughout the asylum process.

At UNITY we've had a number of people coming to us looking for help with asylum claims based on their sexuality. We've also had a number of gay asylum seekers looking for support services they can access here in Scotland. Sometimes it has not been possible to help people in the centre in a truly confidential manner due to the many different people in the centre at the same time.

We are therefore very pleased to announce that with the new confidential phone line we will be able to strengthen the support we provide to LGBT asylum seekers by offering a confidential telephone support line for a few hours at least once a week.

People phoning the phone line will be able to speak to someone of their own gender if they prefer and they will receive support and adivce on where they can access information and support regarding their asylum claim and their lives in the UK. We hope to offer a truly comprehensive support service.

This new service will be unique in the UK as it will be the first regular support line dedicated to supporting LGBT asylum seekers.

If you are interested in being involved in the LGBT phone line please email the unity centre at with your details and we will reply to you.

Initially the phone line will start from Tuesday 7 December and will be open every Tuesday from 6.30 - 10.30pm. We hope that you will pass on the phone number to anyone who could be affected. Thank you.

Also we would recommend that anyone interested in volunteering with the phone line should also attend this one day training course run by GRAMNET and the Equality Network:
'Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Asylum Seekers & Refugees in Scotland'
Thurs 9th December, 9.30 am - 3.30 pm
Wolfson Medical School Building,
University of Glasgow
For more information or to book a place email: Tel 07969350825
The UNITY Centre
30 Ibrox Street
G51 1AQ

0141 427 7992

The UNITY Centre is run entirely by volunteers and funded completely by donations from our supporters.
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1 comment:

  1. It's a topical issue that for sure which will rustle a lot of feathers. But one which needs to be addressed for equality and social justice to be available to everyone.

    Good luck with it!


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