THE rainbow flag is flying above County Hall in Lewes in support of equality and diversity.

Despite Pride events being restricted or cancelled due to Covid-19, representatives from East Sussex County Council, Sussex Police, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service and South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) gathered to show their support for the LGBTQ+ community.
Cllr Peter Pragnell, Chairman of East Sussex County Council, said: “Whilst the Covid pandemic means the LGBTQ+ community can’t celebrate in the same way they have in previous years, it’s important that we continue to show our support and celebrate the equality and diversity of our communities.”

Steph Meech, Specialist Paramedic and Deputy Chair Pride in SECAmb, said she was proud to, once again, represent the organisation to publicly raise the Pride Flag.

She said: “This year has shown us once again to take nothing for granted, and we acknowledge the difficulties faced everyone from all walks of life. We look forward to the times when we can celebrate Pride together once again.”

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Mark Matthews, who attended the event on behalf of East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, added: “It was a genuine pleasure to celebrate and acknowledge the power of diversity this morning with colleagues from the county council, Sussex Police and SECAmb as we raised the pride flag at County Hall.”

Chief Superintendent Tanya Jones, divisional commander for East Sussex, who also attended the flag raising event on Wednesday, August 4, said: “Although many of this year’s Pride events have been affected by Covid, it is important for us to still acknowledge the importance of Pride weekend in promoting LGBTQ+ equality and inclusion.

“I was honoured to join colleagues from East Sussex County Council, SECAmb and East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service in showing our support for equality and diversity in our communities.”

Eastbourne Pride and Hastings Pride events are set to go ahead this year with Covid precautions in place. Brighton Pride has been cancelled for the second year this year, although smaller community events will still take place and a programme of online events will run throughout the summer and autumn.