First Wednesday

- a support and social group for asylum seekers who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender


Who we are

fw meeting'First Wednesday' is a support and social group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) asylum seekers in the Manchester area.

We take our name from our pattern of meeting in the afternoon of the first Wednesday of each month.

We meet in Manchester city centre at the offices of the LGBT Foundation, close to Piccadilly station and only a short walk from the bus and Metrolink stops in Piccadilly Gardens.

As most of our members live in the surrounding Boroughs of Greater Manchester, we have found that a public transport journey into the city centre is usually the most direct, easily accessible, and least costly option for attending our sessions.

What we do

FW 2At our meetings we discuss topics of interest to LGBT asylum seekers, share information and experiences, and try to create a supportive atmosphere where people can be themselves. In our social time we enjoy ourselves, relax, and try to get to know each other better.

Full Meetings

These take place in alternate months and normally consist of presentations by facilitators and guest speakers on specific issues, important updates, and information resources of relevance to the asylum process as it affects LGBT people. In order to manage the high attendances which we normally have at these meetings, the following pattern of timings is normally followed:

  • 3.30pm - access to room and refreshments
  • 4pm - start of session
  • 5.30pm - social time, refreshments and networking

Drop-In Sessions

These alternate with the Full Meetings and offer a less formal opportunity to enjoy social time together, meet friends, make new acquaintances, share experiences, catch up with news, chat with facilitators, seek information, receive signposting to useful resources, and connect with other events and services being offered by the programme teams in the LGBT Foundation.

The formal timings of the Full Meetings do not apply to the Drop-In sessions and guests are welcome to come and go at any time, and stay as long as they wish, within our normal time slot of 3.30pm to 6.15pm.

Why we exist

FW 4There are many LGBT groups in Manchester, but often these don't understand the unique problems that asylum seekers face. Equally, there are many asylum groups in the city, but often these don't understand the issues that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people have.

We are a friendly group which understands the pressures that you face and we try and help with those pressures through friendship, support, shared experiences, and practical help where we can.

Please note: we are not immigration advisers. Our support work is limited to signposting, incuding directing individuals in need of immigration advice to a regulated adviser, and the provision of general information and resources on the immigration and asylum systems.

Summary

  • Where? - The LGBT Foundation, Number 5, Richmond Street, Manchester M1 3HF.
  • When? - The first Wednesday of the month, 3.30pm to 6.15pm.
  • Who? - Philip, Pam, Sue and Andy - contact details below.

contactYou can contact the First Wednesday team:

  • By email
    via contact@firstwednesday.lgbt
  • By postal mail sent to:
    'First Wednesday'
    c/o Metropolitan Congregation
    Wilbraham St Ninian's URC
    Egerton Road South
    Chorlton
    Manchester
    M21 0XJ

You can also find us on Facebook here and on Twitter here.

Respect ourselves and each other
  • Keep to time.
  • Treat others as we wish to be treated.
  • Listen to and pay attention to each other.
Be realistic about what we can afford and who we are 
  • We will provide travel expenses for the Full Meetings which take place in alternate months. We will try to cover, or to make a contribution towards, the cheapest possible travel ticket for asylum seekers only. We can't provide travel expenses for the drop-in sessions.
  • We can't provide alcohol or food or direct grants of money to people.
  • We recognize that this is a group for asylum seekers. The facilitators attend to administer the meetings but not to lead or determine the direction of the group.  Non asylum seekers who come along do so in order to support asylum seekers where appropriate.  
Be confidential
  • We want to create an atmosphere of trust and so we don't repeat outside the group things we hear in the group.

FW rainbow flag

Coming Events

Next Monthly Meeting

 

The next meeting of the group will be on Wednesday 1st March 2017, from 3.30pm until 6.15pm, at the LGBT Foundation.

 

Theme: This will be a drop-in session.

Meetings

Meetings of the First Wednesday group take place at the LGBT Foundation from 3.30pm to 6.15pm on the first Wednesday of each month. From 2017, the monthly meetings will alternate between Full Meetings and Drop-In sessions - see Home page for full details.

 

The LGBT Foundation is located within the Gay Village in Manchester city centre at Number 5, Richmond Street, Manchester M1 3HF. There is a map towards the bottom of this page on their website.

 

We try to make being part of the group as cost-free as possible for asylum seekers, and so we aim to provide basic travel expenses to cover the cheapest possible ticket which will enable an asylum seeker to attend the Full Meetings of the group which take place in alternate months. These expenses are always subject to the limits on the budgets within which the group has to function, and may be affected by the number of people attending our meetings. Additionally, in the case of extended journeys, especially those from outside Greater Manchester, we may only be able to offer a contribution towards travel costs rather than full reimbursement. Note: we are not able to provide travel expenses for the Drop-In sessions.

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