SELCRP are proud to have launched a new project in partnership with City of Sanctuary Bolton. The ‘Stations of Sanctuary’ project aims to make Bolton Station a more accessible and welcoming place for refugees and people seeking asylum, and to develop a system of accreditation for other stations to consider the way in which they offer support for service users from a variety of ethnic backgrounds.
The project has been created in partnership between South East Lancashire Community Rail Partnership (SELCRP) and City of Sanctuary Bolton (CoSB), is supported by funding from Community Rail Network, Northern and Transport for Greater Manchester, and uses Bolton Station as a pilot study for the proposed scheme.
As a town with a large population of people seeking asylum/refugees, Bolton has an active City of Sanctuary group that has been established since 2016, who currently offer “Of Sanctuary” status to a range of institutions including libraries, museums, schools and theatres. In order for an institution to be able to claim that it is “of Sanctuary” it must get assessed and meet set criteria within its category to determine that it makes special efforts in order to help asylum seekers and refugees feel welcome and able to make use of their facilities.
The ‘Stations of Sanctuary’ project aims to develop an appropriate framework for this to be applied to railway stations, and we are proud to be developing this scheme alongside a number of other outputs including improvements to information and signposting at the station, staff/volunteer resources, the creation and display of artwork that represents diverse cultures, a large ‘Welcome to Bolton’ mural, and a final research‐based report.
We hope to complete this project by the end of September 2023.