First Wednesday

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


facilitatorsOur facilitators

A small team of volunteers administer the group and manage the practical aspects of the meetings. At any particular session, you are likely to be welcomed and supported by any combination of Philip, Pam, Gareth, Alan, Sam and Alistair.

Our guests

fw meetingThe range and variety of people who attend our meetings are constantly changing. We regularly welcome new members, and from time to time we say farewell to individuals who have worked their way through the asylum process and are able to move forward with their lives. But, at any one time, you will probably find in our group:

  • people from the same country as you,
  • people with similar experiences to yours,
  • people accommodated in the same town as you,
  • people who belong to other groups that you attend or might like to attend,
  • people who are looking for friends as much as you are.

Our experience is that the group can help new friendships to begin and existing friendships to grow stronger. This is why we always provide a period of social time at our meetings. 

guest presentersGuest presenters

We have found that our group can sometimes be a useful forum for other organisations that are keen to share relevant information with us, or seek to consult us about our views, experiences and insights, or wish to involve us in particular projects that they are undertaking. Some recent examples include:

  • involvement with a theatre group who wish to re-tell the real stories of LGBT asylum seekers and refugees;
  • a research project looking into awareness and attitudes within black and minority ethnic communities towards HIV;
  • a presentation on the work of ASHA (Asylum Support Housing Advice), together with questions on the housing and asylum support issues frequently faced by asylum seekers.

LGBT Foundation teams

lgbt foundationMany of the issues dealt with by the group are also relevant to various projects and programmes being undertaken by the LGBT Foundation itself. It is always a pleasure to link with projects which further the work of the Foundation and which also address some of the personal, social, health and wellbeing problems faced by group members.

So, you will probably meet team members from some of the Foundation's own projects as they explain and offer access to the work they are doing on behalf of the wider LGBT community.

 

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 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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