Who we are
'First Wednesday' is a support and social group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people 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.
Until the Coronavirus lockdown, we used to meet in Manchester city centre at the offices of the LGBT Foundation.
Since the lockdown, we have moved our meetings onto the Zoom online video platform and they continue to take place online on the first Wednesday of each month.
What we do
At 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.
Why we exist
There 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 support 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 generally available published information and resources on the immigration and asylum systems.
- Where? - Zoom
- When? - The first Wednesday of the month - log-in from 3.30 pm, meeting starts at 4 pm.
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 do and who we are
- We can't provide alcohol or food or direct grants of money to people.
- We recognize that this is a group which focuses on support for people who are seeking asylum. The facilitators attend to administer the meetings but not to lead or determine the direction of the group. People who are not in the asylum process but who attend our meetings, do so in order to support people seeking asylum when appropriate.
- We want to create an atmosphere of trust, and so we don't repeat outside the group things we hear in the group.