IN response to public interest and requests for more information and an opportunity to talk about and share experiences of the wide range of protected characteristics that make up our society, North Tawton is hosting an inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Coffee Morning in the Community Centre on Saturday, February 17.

“I am really excited to have been able to organise this,” said Liberal Democrat Councillor Christian Martin. “I have listened to what residents have been asking for and it’s a great opportunity to share knowledge and understanding.” 

The coffee morning coincides with the flying of the Pride Flag to mark LGBT History Month, the 2024 LGBT History Month theme celebrates LGBT+ peoples’ contribution to the field of Medicine and Healthcare both historically and today.

In 2023 North Tawton, following complaints and vandalism of the Pride flag, ratified a Flag Policy with the inclusion of a clause encouraging guest flags to come forward to be flown and alongside the Pride flag the Autism flag was flown to recognise Autism Week. 

“We are looking for more flags to fly and I’m delighted that someone has come forward already to ask if Disability Pride Month in July can be recognised and I shall be proposing that to the council,” adds Cllr Martin. 

Diversity is about empowering people by respecting and appreciating what makes them different, in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, education and national origin.

Inclusion centres around the effort and practices in which different groups and individuals having different backgrounds are culturally and socially accepted and welcomed.  

Cllr Martin added: “The response has been really positive, the Diversity Team from the Police is hoping to attend, we have a spokesperson from Plymouth and Devon Racial Equality Council coming to give a talk, Age UK has supplied information and materials, a Community Transport volunteer from Okehampton is coming, a resident has offered to bake rainbow muffins, we have some short films to screen and there has been interest shown for the formation of a Pride Committee.

“I hope we can build on this becoming an annual event that the council can support and take responsibility for.”