The UK’s first Station of Sanctuary 

Bradford Interchange is awarded for going above and beyond to welcome people forced to flee 

17.05.2022

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© UNHCR/Hannah Maule-ffinch

 

A station in Bradford has been awarded the first-ever Station of Sanctuary title by City of Sanctuary for its extraordinary commitment to people who have been forced to flee. 

Bradford Interchange, which serves around 9 million passenger journeys each year, has been awarded the Station of Sanctuary title after the team went the extra mile to help asylum seekers and refugees. The award, which also expands to community groups, schools and university and libraries and theatres among others, recognises and celebrates those who go ‘above and beyond to welcome people seeking sanctuary’. 

The criteria for the award follows a standard process, where the institute must demonstrate that they understand, embed and share the principles of the City of Sanctuary.  

Will Sutcliffe, Chair of the City of Sanctuary, Bradford, said: “This is the first Transport Hub that has been given a Station of Sanctuary status and it’s because the staff haven’t just done a tick box exercise.”  

The Chair of the City of Sanctuary recognised the additional training staff undertook to understand the needs of refugees and asylum seekers, and showed that they understood, recognised and are now seeking to facilitate their needs.   

The station is equipped with a quiet room and prayer room, as well as welcome signs in a range of different languages. 

“One of the key things we are working on is trying to reduce the cost of fares as asylum seekers receive under £38 per week from the Home Office and a day ticket costs £5.20. Travel is vital and therefore if we can find ways to cut costs, it will be immensely helpful”, said Will Sutcliffe. 

Although the award for the station is new, Bradford has held the City of Sanctuary status for several years, alongside other institutions such as the University of Bradford which offers a scholarship for refugees and asylum seekers.  

Working with the council, the city of Bradford is aiming to become more accessible and facilitative for refugees and asylum seekers. 

 

This story was first reported by Haleema Saheed of the Telegraph & Argus. 

 

To find out how you can follow in the footsteps of the people of Bradford by supporting refugees and asylum seekers, please visit our website 

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