The Pride flag was raised for the first time outside the Surrey Heath Borough Council offices in Camberley on Monday.
The rainbow flag will fly proudly in Surrey Heath this week in the lead up to the first Pride in Surrey event which is taking place in Woking on Saturday 10 August.
The flag raising celebrated the diversity and individuality of our Surrey community, and looked towards a future that promises positivity, inclusivity and harmony.
The event was prompted by 14-year-old Dara McSweeney-Cooke, an LGBTQ+ Ambassador for King’s International College, Camberley, who contacted two SHBC Councillors, Cllr Morgan Rise and Cllr Sarah Jane Croke, to ask if the Pride Flag could be raised in Surrey Heath.
The suggestion was met with a positive reaction, leading to yesterday’s event.
SHBC Councillors, officers and members of the public gathered on the front lawn on Surrey Heath House at 3pm to show support for our LGBTQ+ Community.
Before the flag was raised, Chief Executive of SHBC Karen Whelan and Cllr Morgan Rise gave speeches about the significance of the day’s event.
Karen Whelan said: “It is for me indeed a privilege and honour to be asked to say a few words at this event. We need a society that makes everyone feel safe and most importantly happy to be who they are, and to love who they love, without judgement or fear.”
Music played and sparklers glittered as Cllr Rise and Dara McSweeney-Cooke raised the flag together.
Afterwards, Cllr Rise said: “The event made me feel really proud of the community we live in. People are saying to the LGBTQ+ community, yes you are welcome, yes you are supported and yes you are recognised.”
Dara McSweeney-Cooke added: “The atmosphere was amazing and everyone was really positive. With this event we hope to raise awareness for Surrey Pride and members of the LGBTQ+ community.”
SHBC would like to thank everyone that helped make the event such a success.
To find out more about Pride in Surrey, go to http://prideinsurrey.org/