In October, we were deeply saddened to learn of the death of Philip Jones. His is a huge loss to the community of LGBTQ+ people in Manchester seeking asylum. Through running the First Wednesday group as well as spending countless hours informally supporting individuals, his presence was a lifeline for many who were going through the long and difficult process of proving their sexuality to the Home Office and finding safety in the UK. His work with GMIAU involved working with our solicitors and caseworkers to support people through the asylum process and helping to prepare and give evidence to the court. But the emotional support he also provided, and his generosity with his time and care, can’t be quantified.

Many people he supported have paid tribute to Philip. Below, GMIAU staff share their memories of him.

Those who knew Philip know what a huge hole he will leave in the LGBT community of people seeking asylum. We are grateful for all the ways in which he supported many of the people who went on to win their cases and for his determined and professional presence in the tribunal when he gave evidence. We will feel his loss and always remember his extraordinary commitment. Denise – Chief Executive

I worked closely with Philip for several years. We won all of the asylum appeals we did together- much of this was to do with Philip’s assistance in the preparation of the appeal and his fantastic evidence in court. I loved working with him. He was a kind, generous and beautiful soul who gave everything to his work and to those who he worked with. He was someone I turned to personally when work as getting too much – he was always there with solutions, advice and often he was a listening ear for me to vent my huge frustrations! I will miss Philip in so many ways- he was the greatest ally I could wish to have. Isobel

He really did work tirelessly for people. A big hearted man. He certainly made sure people got the support they needed. A huge loss to the church, community and us all. Maria

He was such a nice man. May he rest in peace. Khurshid

I am very sorry to hear of Philip’s death.  He was an incredibly generous and caring person who dedicated so much of his time and energy to others. He made a momentous difference to the people he supported in many different ways.  I remember being extremely touched that he not only worked tirelessly to obtain the best evidence in my client’s very difficult asylum case, but he was there to take my troubled client out for a drink when he got his refugee status and needed someone to process the news with. His death is a huge loss to the community. Kate