Walk My Journey has been developed in partnership with the national City of Sanctuary charity, St Sebastian’s Centre, (Salford) and Open Doors, (Hull), who have consulted on the entire project with Artistic Director Matt Baker and producer Jo McLeish. The film has been made by Andy Davies of The Video Company, directed by Jo McLeish with a new musical score by Matt Baker.

In collaboration with these charities, refugees and asylum seekers from Afghanistan, Chechnya, Eritrea, Iraq, and Sudan have been interviewed for the film and will be special guests during the live performance.

Funded by a range of supporters, Matt Baker said: “We are delighted with the range of funders who have come forward to support us with this project, from the Foyle Foundation, Arts Council England and the Lottery through to the Marjory Boddy Trust and the Earl of Chester, it proves to us that we have an absolute endorsement for this vital and timely piece of work. We have also had incredible pro-bono support from Chester Race Company and Plan Productions who have provided us with free filming space. We’d also like to thank the schools for their total commitment to this project and to the young people who have shown such interested and compassion for the subject matter.”

Matt added, “There have been some incredible moments in this project; the moment when 700 school children sang their song for the first time to the asylum seekers on Chester Racecourse was exceptionally emotional, where tears were rolling down the faces of the refugees and school teachers alike.”
Walk My Journey will be taking place on Thursday 29th November, where hundreds of children will be carrying lanterns specially made for the refugees through the city, led by artist Russell Kirk. The procession, beginning at 7pm, will be accompanied by the University of Chester Choir who, along with hundreds of other children, will be signing a specially composed chant by Matt Baker. The procession will lead to the gardens of Chester Cathedral where the film broadcast and mass community performance will take place at 7.30pm.

Matt concluded, “A film and live event which brings together refugees, children, students and all those hundreds who come to witness, is something which will be very special, and particularly as we approach Christmas. This is a unique opportunity to remind people of the incredible journeys these fellow human beings have made, and hopefully to promote compassion and a deeper understanding of the precarious, frightening and often very lonely worlds many of these people inhabit.’