GDWG Walking Project – Walk with Us

(Image: Sarah Hickson)

GDWG walking project for former detainees, GDWG visitors and Refugee Tales walkers

If you have walked with Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group on Refugee Tales and are interested in being part of the walking community that meets between Refugee Tales events, please email:

Detainees at Brook House and Tinsley House immigration removal centres who have visitors from Gatwick Detainee Welfare Group are given the opportunity to sign up for weekend walks if they are released in the UK. These walks are held at least every two months for former detainees, Refugee Tales walkers and GDWG visitors.

Walks are in Kent, Surrey and Sussex and are typically on a Saturday over eight miles. These are an opportunity for former detainees to experience the countryside in a walking community. It is a chance to break the daily routine, enjoy some physical exercise, see new landscapes and meet people who are keen to welcome new walkers.

There is no cost for former detainees to join the walks. Anyone who had a GDWG visitor can join three walks after release from detention. We can help with travel and waterproof clothing.

Visitors or Refugee Tales walkers pay a subscription of £20 a year to join the walks.

One former detainee wrote  ‘ I am not allowed to work and the days seem very lonely and long. Going on the walks  mean the walking days are better for me. I had never experienced the countryside. We talk about many things’…

One GDWG visitor wrote ‘I have been very moved by the experience of walking with former detainees.  Their delight in the English countryside in all weathers is one thing, but the benefit of walking and talking for everyone who takes part is profound.’


The next annual long Refugee Tales Walk will be from 6 – 10 July 2019.

Saturday 8 June 2019, 11.00 –  East Sussex

  • We meet at Falmer Station, Station Approach, Off A27, Brighton BN1 9PU which is adjacent to Brighton and Hove football stadium (The Amex) and Sussex & Brighton Universities. We usually gather from 10.30am. Parking is very restricted at Falmer and we encourage you to arrive by public transport if possible. Public parking is available in Brighton and Lewes. There are trains and buses from both towns to Falmer – just a few stops.
  • We set off at 11am and walk together to the Meeting House at the University of Sussex where we will be welcomed and waved off on our walk. (There are also toilets and opportunity to fill water bottles here. There will be no more toilet facilities until we reach Lewes at tea time).
  • This is a walk of about 8 miles through spectacular Sussex scenery: woodland, lush farmland and along the South Downs Way.
  • We will have tea at Christ Church in Lewes (our overnight stop on the annual 5-day Refugee Tales walk this July).
  • We finish at Lewes Station c.17.00.
  • There are some flint tracks so please wear stout shoes or boots.
  • We welcome a donation of £5 per walk (or £20 for the year) to help with travel expenses for our guest walkers who have experienced detention.
  • Please bring water and a packed lunch to share.
  • If there is an emergency on the day, please ring Avril on 07952878496.

It helps us to estimate the number of walkers if you click on the link below and register. Thanks!

We look forward to walking with you.

If you are interested in being a regular part of this walking community that meets between Refugee Tales events, please email: