The Womens Group LogoSwansea Women’s Asylum and Refugee Support Group (‘The Women’s Group’) is one of the longest running local support groups for asylum seekers and refugees in the city.

They were established in 2006 and, apart from a year’s break, have been running at least one activity a month ever since.

The group and its activities are wholly run by and for Asylum Seekers and Refugees with the support of a British Chair. They were set up to encourage wider social and civic engagement of members and their focus has always been on multiple collaborations/network building. They collaborate closely with many groups, including but not limited to:

  • The Waterfront Museum
  • SASS (Swansea Asylum Seeker Support)
  • UiD (Unity in Diversity)
  • ACC (African Community Centre)
  • Swansea City of Sanctuary
  • BME Skills Project
  • EYST (Ethnic Youth Support Team)
  • Women4Resources
  • Hay, Brecon and Talgarth Sanctuary for Refugees
  • Bridgend Quakers
  • Chinese Christian Church
  • WOW Women’s Film Club
  • Wales PEN Cymru

They have a long-standing relationship with Swansea University student volunteers, their volunteer organisation, Discovery, has provided them with childcare since 2008 through RASCALS (Refugee and Asylum Seeking Children At Large in Swansea) a group set up specifically to support them.

They generally meet in the Swansea National Waterfront museum where they have worked on many projects - including painting lampshades as Christmas decorations for the museum, making willow lanterns as part of a cross cultural project with other community groups, working with Women4Resources in on going women’s projects, contributing for example henna designs, threading and braiding in the Green Fayre.

Many members of the group feature in the museum’s current portrait exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of Swansea being awarded city status and will also appear in the forthcoming book. Over the past 2 years members have included women from 24 different countries. Their members are active across the city in multiple ethnic support and community groups. They are members of SCVS.

Until recently they have been run entirely by donations and group fundraising activities. Recently their activities have shifted towards funding training and education opportunities in addition to core support and they are applying for grants.