Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Resource: new LGBT asylum support group in Wales

The LGBT Excellence Centre Wales is a social enterprise and charity based in Cardiff that supports people, organizations and businesses with issues concerning sexual orientation and gender identity. We are based in Wales with a commitment to Wales, although we also have a few projects working across the UK.

We support gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people and promote equality, diversity and human rights through gathering and sharing information and good practice.

We provide people with free support, advice and representation around discrimination, harassment, bullying and hate crime.

Due to a lack of similar groups in Wales, the LGBT Excellence Centre formed an asylum group which now consists of six members of whom two are from central Africa, two from the Middle-East, and two from North Africa.

All the members of the group have a similar personal story, which is that they cannot return to their home country for fear of discrimination based on their sexuality, which can lead to their imprisonment or even death. Therefore they seek asylum in the UK on these grounds.

The group meets up every two weeks on a Thursday afternoon to:
  • Share personal stories and create peer support.
  • Support each other with settling in e.g; places to go as in bars, clubs, internet access, English lessons and general education and support services.
  • Identify positive information sources for all
  • Listen to expert guest speakers
Our main aim is to be able to get (a) legal representative(s) who have the experience in LGBT immigration, and who will be able to represent our group members now and in the future to support their cases.

We also aim to develop best practice for future group members so that we can become a centre of excellence and a proactive group for asylum seekers who identity as LGBT.

We hope that this will lead us to be able to bring more and more members into the group so that we can support and advise more people through this process.

> The LGBT Excellence Centre Wales is hosting an International LGBT Human Rights Summit, 31 August - 1 September.


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