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Town raises Pride flag for first time

PUBLISHED: 11:04 10 July 2018 | UPDATED: 13:08 10 July 2018

The Pride flag raising ceremony outside Town Hall in Beccles. Picture: David Brambley-Crawshaw,

The Pride flag raising ceremony outside Town Hall in Beccles. Picture: David Brambley-Crawshaw,

Archant

A ceremony was held in Beccles for the first time in the town’s history to raise the Pride flag.

New mayor Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw decided to raise the flag to signal that Beccles is an inclusive town which appreciates everyone.

The event was widely supported with many people watching on as the flags were raised outside Town Hall on Sunday, July 8. Among those in the crowd was Rector of St Michael’s and St Luke’s churches Rich Henderson, representatives from the county, district and town council as well members of the community.

Mrs Brambley-Crawshaw said: “It’s such a privilege being mayor and this is one of those extra special moments. Being able to make the decision to fly the Pride flag in Beccles for the first time ever is happiness in itself.

“Love is perhaps the most valuable and beautiful human trait and with the raising of this flag we make it clear that everyone in Beccles is valued regardless of their sexuality. Our diversity is our strength.

“I was particularly moved by Childline reporting that they carried out more than 7,000 counselling sessions about sexuality or gender identity in 2016/17 and more than a quarter of these mentioned mental health issues, including self-harm and suicidal thoughts. Perhaps a small action like raising these flags will help LGBT young people in Beccles feel accepted and safe.”

Mrs Brambley-Crawshaw said the flag raising will now become a tradition for Beccles, and she hopes one day the town will host its own Pride event.

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