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Sefton Proudly MarchONline

Winnie the Pug is help by her owner who are holding up a rainbow Pride flagFor the second year running, staff from across Sefton Council have taken part in Liverpool City Region’s virtual Pride celebrations, MarchONline.

The virtual march took place on Saturday 31 July, on what would have been the day of the City Region’s Pride celebrations – the March with Pride and Pride in Liverpool, organised by the LCR Pride Foundation. Unfortunately, this year’s celebrations had to be cancelled due to the ongoing uncertainty and risks around mass public gatherings and the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year, over 30 staff (and a cheeky pug named Winnie!) clapped, danced and marched in their own homes and at Sefton Council buildings to submit several videos and images to form part of Sefton Council’s MarchONline contribution. There were flags a-plenty with the traditional rainbow, trans, ally, bisexual and more featuring in the video clips submitted.

Leading the Sefton celebrations this year were Sefton Council’s Chief Executive, Dwayne Johnson, and Youth Worker, Sue Logie.

Dwayne said:

“Sefton Council is committed to ensuring that our Borough allows everybody to be their true selves. We ensure that we champion our LGBT+ members of staff and are incredibly proud to see so many colleagues take part in LCR Pride Foundation’s MarchONline.

“We’re proud to hold the Navajo Merseyside & Cheshire LGBT+ Charter Mark, an equality mark sponsored by In-Trust Merseyside and supported by the LGBT+ community networks across Merseyside – a signifier of good practice, commitment and knowledge of the specific needs, issues and barriers facing LGBT+ people.

“It’s a real shame we couldn’t get together in person this year, but I’m looking forward to marching through the streets again next year. Happy Pride 2021!”

Adding to Dwayne’s comments, Sue said:

“Sadly, we miss another physical Pride event this year, however we still get to have a virtual celebration! I know the young people, myself and the LGBT+ community and allies have missed the community during the various lockdown periods, however it is super important that we continue to stay safe and limit the spread of COVID-19.”

“We continue to show that we are a diverse Borough which welcomes everyone, and I’m proud that I can be me and that we are there to support young people in being themselves, we are so excited for a big Pride celebration next year, but for now; stay safe, be proud, be loud and be you. Happy Pride!”

The LCR Pride Foundation is Liverpool City Region’s LGBT+ charity, who organised the virtual march. Andi Herring, CEO, said:

“It’s such a shame that we can’t all come together in protest and celebration of LGBT+ lives this year, our annual march is always a great show of support for our LGBT+ communities across the Liverpool City Region. We are delighted to see that Sefton Council are marching with us this year and look forward to working with them over the coming months as part of our work across the City Region.”

As a diverse Borough accepting of all, Sefton Council is committed to promoting fairness and equality to all who live, visit and work within the Borough. You can view the Council’s equality and diversity policy by clicking here.

The annual Pride march is an important time to protest, celebrate and remind people of the importance of reporting hate crimes. There are several ways you can to report a hate crime in Sefton:

In an emergency, you should always call 999.

Report it directly to the police by calling 101.

If you don’t feel comfortable reporting it to the police you can contact the independent hate crime charity Stop Hate UK – https://www.stophateuk.org/report-hate-crime/

You can visit a number of third party reporting centres across Sefton – https://www.sefton.gov.uk/advice-benefits/crime-and-emergencies/hate-crime-reporting-centres/

You can use our online form – https://forms.sefton.gov.uk/hatecrimereport/

If you need any mental health support, help is always available.

Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline is a safe space for anyone to discuss anything, including sexuality, gender identity, sexual health and emotional well-being. Call 0300 330 0630 (10am – 10pm daily), visit the website or email chris@switchboard.lgbt (Emails are typically replied to within 72 hours)

The Anthony Walker Foundation aims to promote diversity and racial harmony in Merseyside through education, sport and the arts. 0151 237 3974

Victim Support is an independent charity which aims to help people rebuild their lives after a traumatic event. 0808 1689 111

New Beginnings is an LGBT youth group which caters for 11 to 19 year olds in Sefton. It provides a safe space for young people to socialise and learn life skills. new.beginnings@sefton.gov.uk

If you missed the celebrations, you can watch it back by clicking here.