Community Rail Lancashire and the Proud Trust’s have launched an innovative project, funded by Arriva Rail North’s seedcorn fund, aimed at promoting inclusion through artwork for LGBT+ users of the Northern network.
‘Stand Clear of the Closet Doors!’ was launched to around 300 LGBT+ young people, hosted at Manchester Metropolitan University, on Thursday 23 August.
The project features North West LGBT+ locations accessible by rail, which are promoted by a 14 metre map on display in Manchester’s Victoria Station. A booklet researched, written and illustrated by the fantastic youth participants, and colourful stickers are also available.
Project contributors, Tasnia and Elena spoke eloquently at the launch about the aims of the project, what it means to them and the group who took part. Over 350 booklets and stickers were distributed, with excellent feedback on the map featured.
Daisy Chapman-Chamberlain, community rail education development officer at Community Rail Lancashire, said: “Launching the project to this many LGBT+ young people, all with such enthusiasm and passion, was a real privilege. I am so proud of the hard work and dedication of all the participants, and am thrilled that the artwork has had such a positive impact.”
The launch then continued on Friday 24 August, with CRL, Northern and the Proud Trust promoting the project in Manchester Victoria; with some excellent feedback from the public, and around 800 booklets distributed.
Finally, on Saturday 25, the launch events were rounded off with a stall in the expo space, where around 1000 booklets and many more stickers were distributed to Manchester Pride attendees.
This project has been extremely well received both within and outside rail and community rail, and has had a real impact on those who took part. One participant said, “This is undeniably an awesome project. People from all over the country will see this art! I am so happy to have created art together to impact so many people. It can brighten their day, be relatable to LGBT+ people / associates, be a nice distraction and even be very educational!”
For further information or for copies of the booklet, contact firstname.lastname@example.org