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Brook House is designed on a prison model with cell accommodation.

Older News

Welcome to our archive of the older news items.

1 October 2013
HMIP report on Brook House finds a 'mixed picture'

After an unannounced inspection in late May and early June 2013, the Chief Inspector of Prisons, Nick Hardwick, reported on a mixed picture at Brook House. While he acknowledged there had been some improvement and that it remained a safe place, he said the overall assessment was finely balanced. They found particular problems with the provision of legal advice and the slow pace of immigration casework and high levels of self-harm caused by frustration. You can read the HMIP press release and the full report via links on our Brook House page.

8 July 2013
Civil Service in Crawley

On Sunday July 7th two representatives from GDWG were invited to the Friary Church in Crawley to join the Mayor, Councillor Bob Burgess, in a service of celebration and commitment. The service was attended by mayors from other boroughs, members of the council and representatives of local groups and charities. A Filipino choir welcomed the guests and children from St Francis School sang and read with sensitivity and exuberance. The service was a celebration of diversity, the Mayor delighting in the many communities represented in the Borough. The children decorated a Crawley Tree with leaves representing the thirteen districts of Crawley. At the Reception afterwards it was a good opportunity to talk about GDWG’s work with senior representatives of local Councils.

13 June 2013
Songs from Near and Afar

Fundraising Concert in aid of the Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group. Local vocalists will be singing songs of separation and togetherness.

Saturday 6th July 2013 at 7.30pm – Reigate Park Church, Park Lane East, RH2 8BD. Songs from opera, folk, Lieder and songs from the shows.

Download the flyer here

13 March 2013
In the words of HMIP, GDWG 'very good support to detainees' in Tinsley House

HMIP congratulated Tinsley House ‘one of the best centres we have inspected’ and wrote that ‘detainee feedback on staff was exceptional’. ‘The Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group provided very good support to detainees’.

Of interest to visitors,…‘rules in the visits hall should be less restrictive and should be applied more consistently’ (item 4.10). Some concerns reported by detainees to GDWG were addressed including ‘routine handcuffing for external appointments’. The Report noted ‘referrals and assessments in relation to whether detainees’ mental health or physical health could be adversely affected by detention should be consistent and multidisciplinary’ (2.90), and that there are ‘significant shortcomings in mental health provision’.

This was the follow-up inspection of Tinsley House IRC (8 – 11 October 2012) by HMIP published on 27 February 2013. Report is available here.

7 December 2012
Christmas Cards on Sale

Following a Christmas card design competition held in association with the art class in Tinsley House, we have two designs of Christmas cards on sale from the office in packs of ten.

The ‘ChristmasTree’ design pictured here contains the words ‘Wishing you a Merry Christmas’ and the second design features the word ‘Peace’ and a dove on a blue background with the words ‘Wishing you Peace at Christmas’ inside the card.

These packs of cards cost just £3.50. Email if you would like to reserve some for collection. We send Christmas wishes to all our supporters and volunteers.

5 December 2012
Young supporter takes our message to the House of Lords

Following on from Parliament Week 19-25 November which encouraged young people to take an interest in the parliamentary process, we thank Lord and Lady Dholakia for hosting one of our young supporters. He took a copy of our report ‘A Prison in the Mind’ to share in the House of Lords.

Our young ambassador was able to sit in the Chamber during Questions and enjoyed a tour learning about the history and traditions of the House of Lords. He left a copy of ‘A Prison in the Mind’ with Lord Dholakia and took away fascinating insights to share at his school through the school magazine. Thanks to our Patron for the welcome and interest.

21 November 2012
Mayor of Crawley visits GDWG

The Mayor and Mayoress of Crawley, Councillor Keith Blake and Councillor Sally Blake, came to ‘The Orchard’ yesterday for lunch with GDWG volunteers and an ex-detainee who described life in Brook House from his own experience. This was followed by their first visit to a detainee in Brook House where they learned first-hand about A’s journey from Eritrea and his forthcoming removal directions to Italy this week. The Mayor and Mayoress expressed interest in the work GDWG is doing and asked us to pass on congratulations to our volunteers on all their visits which we are delighted to do! Thanks to the volunteers who prepared the lunch and hosted our guests.

5 November 2012
GDWG release report looking at the mental health implications of long-term detention

‘A prison in the mind’ looks at the effects that long-term detention has had on a small sample of detainees held at Brook House IRC. Through interviews with both detainees and GDWG visitors, the study comes to the conclusion that while detention has a negative effect on detainees’ mental state, it may be inappropriate to label these symptoms as mental health problems, and instead could be seen as a normal reaction to the circumstances that long-term detainees find themselves in. The report makes a series of recommendations on the subject, primarily that those with diagnosed mental illnesses should never be detained. You can read the full report here.

25 October 2012
GDWG helps celebrate Black History Month

GDWG congratulates Crawley Black History Foundation on a successful celebration of Black History at the Hawth Theatre on Saturday 13 October. Thanks to Black History for the invitation to join the celebration. GDWG along with Crawley Campaign Against Racism, Mary’s Meals and the Barbados Tourist Office presented their stall to the Mayor of Crawley in the foyer of the theatre. Artwork by Pound Hill Junior School on the GDWG stall on the theme of ‘Showing the Red Card’ to racism brought us new supporters and thanks to everyone in the audience who came to find out about the work that we do. It was a great show in The Hawth theatre with special mention to Ifield Community College Choir and the Chagossian Drummers. Thank you Marilyn!

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