Castle comes alive as 2,000 show their pride

By Jake Chown  
Tuesday 6th August 2019 9:00 am
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Caldicot Castle and Country Park was the backdrop for a weekend of celebrations and fun as more than 2,000 people visited over two days for the Monmouthshire Youth Service Diversity Festival.

The weekend was a legacy to the very successful Youth Pride event which took place at Caldicot Castle in 2018, with the event this year expanding into a two-day festival of fun for all ages on Saturday 27th July and 28th July.

The event was the idea of the Equality Street group made up of young people from Monmouthshire who felt there wasn’t a local pride event that catered for families and young people. The group worked with Monmouthshire Youth Service to raise the flag for LGBTQ+ young people and to enable families to attend a day where everyone was treated equally.

Youth Pride brought together young people from across the county on Saturday 27th July. The day aimed to provide young people with a safe environment to be themselves and gain information from a wide range of services and organisations who, from across Gwent, work with LGBTQ+ young people.

Many inspirational speakers took to the stage including co-founder of Stone Wall Lisa Power - the LGBT+ organisation fighting for equality for lesbians, gay and bi people. Joining Lisa on stage was Marcus DeVine, stand-up comedian and writer, who entertained the crowds along with local performers including Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist Emile Harris from Rogiet.

A family fun day took place the following day with all families welcome to join in, and many organisations attending to provide information and support to families. A wealth of activities were on offer from local groups and organisations. A local boxing group provided boxercise and Caldicot Castle hosted archery and mini golf. Arts and craft activities were a popular choice and live music enhanced the party atmosphere, while youngsters enjoyed the inflatables and took on the challenge of the climbing wall.

Councillor Richard John, Cabinet Member for Mon Life said: "It was a fantastic weekend. I was very pleased to be able to attend the Young People’s Pride day on Saturday. The coordination and organisation of the event by our very own LGBTQ+ youth group Equality Street was outstanding.

"I would like to thank the youth service and everyone involved in making the whole weekend a truly memorable experience for all who attended. I look forward to many more events at Caldicot Caste. It really is a beautiful setting for a multitude of events."

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