Partnership helps refugees travel around Essex

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The Essex & South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership (ESSCRP) is working with Refugee, Asylum seeker & Migrant Action to help refugees and asylum seekers adapt to life in Essex.

They recently took eight people from countries such as Albania, Kuwait, Russia and Iran, who are now living in Colchester, on a day trip by train to find out about how to use public transport and where to explore further afield.

Travelling on a Greater Anglia train from Colchester, they visited Grayson Perry’s House for Essex at Wrabness before continuing to Harwich for fish and chips at PieSeas and ice creams from the Ha’Penny pier.

Community Rail Officers provided information about the England Coastal Path and other local walking trails as well as important guidance about rail safety, such as why it is important to never cross the tracks ─ something that is seen as acceptable in some of the refugees’ home countries.

Terri Ryland of the Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership, said, “We were delighted that everyone on the trip had a great day and expressed a desire to travel again. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to have to flee your country and start again in an unknown place and I hope that our ongoing work with RAMA will help them to feel more integrated and confident about exploring their new surroundings.”

“We are extremely grateful to Greater Anglia and to Essex Path to Prosperity project for supporting this event and working with us to bring rail to the heart of a community which can often feel quite isolated.”

The ESSCRP aims to encourage and promote use of the six rail branch lines in Essex. It supports local projects developed in partnership with community groups businesses and the train operator. The focus is on projects that promote the stations and encourage rail travel through engagement, economic growth, and sustainable active travel for all.

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