A NEW foundation focused on making the Liverpool City Region the most LGBT+ friendly region in the UK has launched with the support of Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram, Deputy Mayor of Liverpool, Cllr Wendy Simon and council leaders from Wirral and Knowsley.
The LCR Pride Foundation was established in early 2019 with the aim of extending the reach of Pride across the whole of the Liverpool City Region. It will deliver a full calendar of campaigns, social and cultural events, including the annual Pride festival, as well as supporting collaborative working and providing wider-reaching engagement activities.
Co-Chairs of the LCR Pride Foundation, Andi Herring and John Bird, were also joined on Thursday 21 February by the leader of Knowsley Council, Cllr Graham Morgan and Wirral Councillor, George Davies, for a meeting to officially launch the organisation. Knowsley and Wirral will be the first two boroughs outside of Liverpool that the foundation will work within.
Andi Herring said: “The foundation has been established to build on the history of Liverpool Pride and champion the rights of LGBT+ people living in and visiting the region.
“As an organisation we fight to highlight the daily barriers LGBT+ people face, with the ultimate aim of creating an inclusive culture for all to enjoy and participate in. We want our message to be heard not just in the city centre, but across the six boroughs of the Liverpool City Region. Working collaboratively with local councils, their leaders and LGBT+ people within their communities will be absolutely vital to our success.”
John Bird added: “We are extremely grateful to be joined today by our Metro Mayor and Deputy Mayor, as well as Wirral Councillor George Davies and the leader of Knowsley Council, Graham Morgan and we look forward building on these relationships and joining up the LGBT+ community across the region.”
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “Building on Pride’s achievements, by extending its reach to the wider city region, is very positive news for LGBT+ communities. I am committed to a fully-inclusive city region and I look forward to working with our local authority colleagues to celebrate this year’s programme.”
Cllr Graham Morgan, Leader of Knowsley Council, said: “We’re really proud to be part of this push to make our region LGBT+ friendly. We’ll be using this to send the strongest possible message that Knowsley and the wider City Region is a place where everyone is welcomed.”
Cllr George Davies, deputy leader of Wirral Council, said: “This foundation does fantastic, valuable work. I know I speak on behalf of all my colleagues in Wirral when I say we will do everything we can to support it to grow and continue to help our LGBT+ community. I look forward to the 2019 programme of events.”
Events already revealed for 2019 include Liverpool’s annual Pride festival and Film with Pride, which last month launched with its Dirty Thoughts season. The film programme will showcase new and classic LGBT+ cinema from around the world throughout the year in venues across the region. The organisation also plans to develop a community grants scheme to support grassroots activity in the six city region boroughs.
Andi Herring will take on the role of Co-Chair and Operations Director for the foundation, with John Bird being appointed as Co-Chair and Marketing Director and experienced Chartered Secretary, Karen O’Donnell, taking up the position of Governance Director. The board is currently recruiting new members and is particularly seeking applications from those with backgrounds in finance, legal and community engagement.
For more information visit www.lcrpride.co.uk