Police take Pride in deckchair sponsorship

By Barrie Hudson - 2 June 2021

CommunityAttractions
  • PCSOs Kate Jackson and Lee Hare trying the deckchair for size

    PCSOs Kate Jackson and Lee Hare trying the deckchair for size

Wiltshire Police are to sponsor the Deckchair Zone at this year's Swindon and Wiltshire Pride.

  • PCSO Lee Hare unfurling the Pride flag at Gablecross Police Station in Swindon

    PCSO Lee Hare unfurling the Pride flag at Gablecross Police Station in Swindon

June is celebrated around the world as Pride Month and the force chose this time to announce its sponsorship of the zone, which includes a giant deckchair for people to try.
Swindon and Wiltshire Pride has held an annual event since 2008, bringing communities together in celebration of LGBTQ+ rights, diversity and inclusion, apart from last year when it had to be cancelled due to covid-19 restrictions. 
This year's is scheduled for Saturday, 7 August at the Town Gardens in Swindon.  
The organisers have decided not to hold the parade through the town this year, but there will be plenty of entertainment and activities - and strict covid-19 safety measures to keep festivalgoers safe while having a great time.
Deputy Chief Constable Paul Mills said the force was pleased to support Pride and hoped that the giant deckchair would be a big draw for individuals and families to come and meet their local police service, test out the chair for size and take photos and selfies. 
He added: "We are delighted to be supporting this incredible community event and hope that our sponsorship of one the Pride zones will encourage more people to take part and show their support for the LGBTQ+ community.
Swindon PCSOs Lee Hare and Kate Jackson tested the huge chair when it was taken on a trip to police headquarters in Devizes by Swindon & Wiltshire PRIDE chair Jo Sharpe.  
“As a local police service, we want to do our bit to get the message across that acceptance and awareness are key to communities living side by side, without fear of violence, prejudice or hatred," said Lee Hare.
"All of us should respect each other's differences and be free to be who they want to be and live how they want without fear, hatred and prejudice – no matter their gender or sexual orientation."
June was chosen as Pride month as it marks the month of the Stonewall riots, which started at the Stonewall Inn in New York in 1969, now recognised as the birthplace of Pride.  
The events were the catalyst for the fight for LGBTQ+ rights in the United States and around the world. 
The Swindon and Wiltshire Pride website is https://www.swindonwiltshirepride.co.uk/pride2021
Wiltshire Police are flying the rainbow flag at Swindon's Gablecross station and at the force's Devizes headquarters for Pride month.
 

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