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Issue:- 19 May 2011


IN celebration of the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) Liverpool Pride has some exciting news... The theme for this year’s festival will be Summer of Love!

Liverpool Pride can also share a message of support from Anton Hysen, the world’s only ‘out’ professional footballer and son of former Liverpool FC star Glenn Hysen.

As The Beatles famously sang ‘All You Need Is Love’ and Liverpool Pride will be showcasing this when the Summer of Love
themed festival bursts into life in the city centre on Saturday, 6 August 2011, bringing with it a FREE fun filled day for all the family.

The announcement comes just days after news broke of the beating of two of Liverpool’s best loved Drag Queens Lady Sian
and Calvin Fox.

Liverpool’s Lord Mayor, Councillor Hazel Williams, said:- "IDAHO is an important day in the city’s calendar and I’m delighted to say the Town Hall will be flying the rainbow flag with pride. Following the horrendous attacks on members of the gay community, this day is a chance for us to reinforce the message that homophobia is unacceptable. As a city council, we will do everything we can to promote diversity in this great city.  I’m delighted that this year’s theme is ‘Summer of Love’ and I hope it will bring everyone together in the spirit of unity and togetherness. IDAHO will be a fantastic pre-cursor to the much-anticipated return of Liverpool Pride in August - our major celebration of the city’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community."

Following a vote on and around the gay scene, Summer of Love was an overwhelming winner with 46% leaving the other themes All At Sea, Film Noir and Hollywood Glamour far behind.

Tommy McIlravey, Chair of Liverpool Pride said:- "We knew last year’s Rainbow Circus would be hard to beat, so many people did us proud to make the day one of the most colourful in the city’s history. The local LGBT community have voted in their droves to give us another cracker for 2011. The Summer of Love will see an ocean of hippies, fluoros and flower children flood into Liverpool ready to paint the town pink on 6 August 2011."

Commenting on the recent attacks, Tommy continues:- "I can’t believe what has happened to our Lady Sian, she’s a friend and neighbour and was an absolute star at Liverpool Pride 2010. I know she’ll be back on her feet in August with bigger hair and a bigger smile than anyone else! Thousands of people came out to show their support for us last year and it’s good to be reminded that for every bigot who attacks one of us there are a thousand more good people who will stand up and be counted."

Liverpool Pride recently received a message of support from Anton Hysen, the World’s only ‘out’ professional footballer, who came out in interview with Offside Magazine this March. The son of former Liverpool FC player Glenn Hysen, 20 year old Anton was born in Liverpool and still feels a close bond with the city.

Anton said:- "Being born in Liverpool, I’ve always felt a strong connection to the city and it’s great to hear how much it does for its gay community. I was shocked to hear of the recent attacks and about what happened to Michael Causer. I think it’s disgraceful that attacks like this still happen across the world. We need to learn from each other and also to teach younger people how to treat each other with mutual respect despite different backgrounds, colour, sexual orientation & religion. I’m very proud to be from Liverpool & I wish everyone a safe & happy Pride."

Before 2010, Liverpool was the largest city in the country that didn’t have its own official pride festival. Liverpool Pride came about following the launch of the LGB&T Network in 2009, at which the public voted for a pride festival to engage, empower and involve the LGB&T communities within the city. This was fully endorsed by Liverpool City Council and the first official Liverpool Pride Festival saw over 21,000 people take to the streets of Liverpool in celebration of all things LGBT. It is hoped that Liverpool Pride 2011 will build on this success and will celebrate the diverse community of one of Europe’s leading cultural cities once more.

Make sure you check out:- to have your say and for all of the latest pride news.

Liverpool loves learning!

AN ADULT learning scheme which has helped almost 70 people into work and thousands more to gain new skills has won a top

The ‘Liverpool Community Learning Champions’ project has been hugely successful in recruiting and training over 150 local people to act as role models to encourage their friends, families and neighbours into learning and volunteering and show it is never too late to learn new skills.

A total of 68 have gone on to get jobs as a result, while many others have gained qualifications and skills. The Community Learning Champions have worked with over 3,000 people across the city - of which 83% had never taken part in adult learning before. They encourage their friends, family and neighbours into learning and volunteering and show it is never too late to learn new skills.   Also the project has scooped the Community Learning Champions Award at the North West Adult Learners' Week Regional Awards.

Councillor Nick Small, Cabinet member for employment and skills, said:- "This is a fantastic scheme which is making a real difference to people’s lives and helping them into employment and training. It shows that by helping and encouraging people and giving them confidence, it is possible to help them achieve their potential and break the cycle of worklessness."

Many Community Learning Champions started out with their own issues, such as long-term unemployment and poor education.

The project has been managed by the city council’s Adult Learning Service working in partnership with community organisations in some of the most deprived areas of Liverpool.

The scheme has been aimed at adults who feel that learning is ‘not for them’, with little or no qualifications and skills, and often with low confidence and self esteem.

The Community Learning Champions have targeted places where people go about their everyday lives, including shopping centres, school gates, libraries and doctor’s surgeries.

Other activities have included organising regular coffee mornings, presentations to community groups, publicising their role in community newsletters and radio, working with local Union Learning Representatives.

Sharon Ross from Norris Green was one of the city’s first Community Learning Champions.

She has since gone on to secure employment with Croxteth Communiversity as a community engagement officer. She is now also a Community Learning Champion team leader, helping with mentoring and training.

Sharon, 49, said:- "I’d previously been in retail, but didn’t want to go back to it and was interested in doing something in the community. My job centre advisor mentioned the Community Learning Champions and I just went for it. Our main aim was to engage people who had been long term unemployed or were isolated, so we started going to places we knew they’d visit, such as supermarkets. Although it was initially a voluntary role working towards a qualification, I then started being paid through the Future Jobs Fund and when that ended I secured a job at Croxteth Communiversity. I’ve also taken a teaching qualification that enables me to run a reading group. I find it extremely fulfilling and satisfying to be helping people out of work and into employment and training."

The Community Learning Champions programme is delivered through five organisations across the city: Alt Valley Community Trust; Everton Development Trust; Granby Toxteth Development Trust; Speke Training and Education Centre and PSS.

Alan Tuckett, from the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE), said:- "The transformation that those taking part in the Liverpool Community Learning Champions Project have experienced is due to their dedication, persistence and ambition. I hope that adults across the country will be inspired by their story to take up learning and discover for themselves a whole new life."

For more information about the Community Learning Champions programme:- call 0151 233 2408 or send a email

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