First Wednesday

- a support and social group for lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people seeking asylum


It can take a very long time to claim asylum in the UK and this can be a very frustrating experience. However, with claims based on sexuality this time can be used to your advantage.  

community clipartIntegrate with the LGBT community

The Home Office guidelines on sexuality recognise that being lesbian, bisexual or gay is as much a social identity as it is about relationships.  So the Home Office interviewers, and the judges at asylum appeals, should be looking for evidence that you are making connections and becoming comfortable within the wider LGBT community. 

This can be hard if you live some distance from Manchester, or if you lack the self-confdence to take part in the social scene in Manchester's gay venues - typically in and around the Village. Additionally, you may prefer not to drink alcohol or you may simply not have the money to spend time in commercial venues.

However, there is more to Manchester's LGBT community than bars and clubs!

social media iconsJoin Groups

There are a number of groups which welcome LGBT asylum seekers:

All of these can be useful places for you to make friends, share experiences, tell your stories, gain support, offer your gifts and skills as a volunteer or participant, and steadily find your own unique place within the LGBT community which reaches far beyond the commercial interests of the Village.

You may wish to explore the longer listing of social and support groups on our Links page.

community facesMake Friends

It is important for you to make friends within the LGBT community for a number of reasons:

  • Everyone needs a good circle of friends, and there can be a real sense of isolation for any LGBT person who lacks friends from within the LGBT community.
  • It is hard for people who are new to the UK to make friends in the wider community, and the various LGBT community groups can be good places to start to make friends and to build self-confidence.
  • Life is better with friends than without, especially in times of difficulty.
  • Friends can help, when they get to know you in some depth, by giving statements and support for your case.

calendarIt takes time

One word of warning - don't go to a new group and immediately ask them to start writing supporting letters about you and your case!  Most groups need to know you for a meaningful period of time before they can write any personal endorsements about you.

Clearly this can be a problem if you have an upcoming appeal or you need to make a Fresh Claim. But the courts value statements from people who have known you for some time and who have a genuine insight into your life and loves. You may weaken your case if statements about you are unconvincing. Your lawyer should advise you on this. Your lawyer may say to you, "See if they will give you a letter..." without realising that the letter may contain little or nothing of any value that the group can say about you because your link with them has been so short-lived.

Similarly don't get involved in groups just for what you believe they can offer you. You will not be demonstrating integration into the LGBT community unless you can show that you have committed your own gifts, skills, and time to the groups that you have joined. Be ready for a perfectly reasonable question: "What are the aims and objectives of the XYZ group that you belong you, and why are those aims important to you?"

FW rainbow flag

Coming Events

Next Monthly Meeting

 

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

 

Theme: This will be a drop-in meeting with no formal presentations.

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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