First Wednesday

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


Who we are

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

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 people seeking asylum, share information and experiences, signpost people to resources, and try to create a supportive atmosphere where everyone 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.

From February 2019, we now hold TWO separate but identical Presentation Meetings as part of our First Wednesday meetings in February, April, June, August, October and December.

For some months the First Wednesday facilitators have been concerned at the overcrowding of our presentation meetings. The lack of space, and the excess heat inside the room when it is so full, are problems that we need to address particularly as we are receiving new members each month who seek our help.

We want to be able to support all who come to us needing help and we have tried to find a way which avoids turning people away at the door when the room is full. Therefore, we have decided to deliver the presentations twice on the same day and we are asking all who attend First Wednesday to come to only one of the two identical presentations.

The timings of our meetings on Presentation months will therefore be:

  • 3pm - 3.30pm - Arrive and sign in for first session. (Please note the slightly earlier start time!)
  • 3.30pm - 4.30pm - Presentations
  • 4.30pm - 5pm - Social time and networking

 

  • 5pm - 5.30pm - Arrive and sign in for second session.
  • 5.30pm - 6.30pm - Presentations (repeat of 3.30pm session)
  • 6.30pm - 7pm - Social time and networking

You are welcome to attend either session, but if the first session becomes full or risks becoming overcrowded, we may find it necessary to ask people to go out and come back at 5pm for the second session. If you are likely to arrive late for the start of the first session, please re-plan your afternoon in order to attend the second session rather than expecting late admission into the first session.

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 3.00pm to 6.30pm.

Why we exist

FW 4There are many LGBT groups in Manchester, but often these don't understand the unique problems faced by people seeking asylum. Equally, there are various asylum groups in the city, but often these don't understand the issues that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people have to deal with.

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.

Please note: we are not immigration advisers. Our support work is limited to signposting, including 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, 3.00pm to 6.30pm.

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 5th June 2019, from 3.00pm (15:00) until 6.30pm (18:30), at the LGBT Foundation.

Theme: This will be a presentations meeting and will be offered as two identical sessions - one starting at 3.30pm and one starting at 5.30pm. Members are invited to attend just one of the sessions.

Meetings

Meetings of the First Wednesday group take place at the LGBT Foundation from 3.00pm to 6.30pm on the first Wednesday of each month. The monthly meetings alternate between Presentation 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 a contribution towards travel expenses to cover the cheapest possible ticket which will enable someone to attend the Presentation 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 very modest contribution towards those travel costs. Note: we are not able to provide travel expenses for the Drop-In sessions.

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