Villagers launch first Pride festival to celebrate differences

Easington Colliery Pride campaign.
From left Anita Irons, Gemma Robinson and Kristy White

Easington Colliery Pride campaign. From left Anita Irons, Gemma Robinson and Kristy White

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A community is set to come together to celebrate their differences.

Work is underway on planning the first Easington Pride event and organisers are hoping to get as many people as possible on board.

It is all about celebrating the differences within our community

Gemma Robinson

Gemma Robinson, the community pioneer at Easington’s Co-op store is co-ordinating the event and bringing lots of schools and other village organisations on board.

The 32-year-old explained the idea came from a conversation with a member of staff at Hopewood Academy, which caters for children with special educational needs, who told her the children were doing a project about LGBT, Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Transgender, and respecting each other.

Now, Easington Pride - Dare to be Different plans are well underway for an event to take place on July 7 in Easington.

Several schools from Easington and Peterlee are now on board, including Hopewood Academy, Easington Colliery Primary School, Easington EC Primary School, Easington Academy, The Academy and Shotton Hall, Dene Community School and St Bede’s Catholic Comprehensive School.

Gemma said they are planning to walk from Easington Village green, complete with balloons and banners of all colours and walk down the main street and into Easington Welfare Park for a picnic.

Then, on the evening in Easington Welfare Hall a night of singing and dancing is being planned.

Gemma said: “There will be a DJ on the night and some different acts. I am trying to get a drag queen, but finding they are booked up months in advance.

“We are hoping it is going to be a big event and from talking to people if it goes well they would like to see it become an annual event.

“It is all about celebrating the differences within our community and realising we a very diverse community.”

She said the idea is about promoting tolerance and acceptance no matter what differences people might have.

The group is now trying to raise money to help pay for the event and get businesses on board.

Anyone who wants to find out more about the event or feels they can help in any way, should visit the facebook page at www.facebook.com/EasingtonPride/.