Detainees are not allowed out of Tinsley House, and personal possessions within the Centre are restricted. People are allowed to visit daily in the communal visits room, and are advised to book ahead. \For directions and visiting hours please click here\. Under Government rules, removal centres have to provide some meaningful activity. Tinsley House has a library and exercise/sport facilities, optional English lessons and arts and crafts sessions, as well as the use of television and video. In reality, however, boredom and frustration often set in for longer-term detainees.
Tinsley House has a well administered and caring team of religious staff, who cater for the pastoral, spiritual and cultural needs of the detainee population. There are daily religious services and ministers from all faiths visit the centre. Many of the referrals we receive come from the religious staff. The centre has a medical centre with limited mental health nursing provision. Accommodation is provided in small rooms of two to four people in each. Detainees are allowed freedom of movement around the centre during the daytime, but are locked into the accommodation corridors during the night.
At present, there are ten main detention centres in the UK, with around 3000 people detained at any one time. There are various security contractors who run the centres so, as a result, staff training, official visiting hours and security measures may vary across the detention estate.
It is common for detainees to be transferred around the various detention centres throughout their period of detention, and each centre has a visitors’ group similar to us. You can find the details of other visitors groups from the \Association of Visitors to Immigration Detainees (AVID) \.
“We dream of a possible brighter future, even if this unknown future may be across oceans. We risk life and limb in order to better our lives, with the hope of one day returning to our loved ones.”
John Musato, detainee held at Gatwick
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