Scouts in Glamorgan West have united for a “one-of-a-kind” virtual Pride event after their first annual celebration was cancelled due to coronavirus.
The Glamorgan West Inclusive Scouting Team (GWIST) hosted its V-Pride event online, raising awareness of LGBT+ communities and celebrating their inclusion in Scouting.
The team, which is based in Swansea, undertook numerous activities during the day including developing an understanding of the LGBT+ community and encouraging greater acceptance.
After discussions around issues facing LGBT+ people, they then each took part in a virtual parade, made a paper chain of people which represented different individuals, and finally danced to some Pride classics.
Over the past few weeks the team has also created an LGBT+ resource pack, which aims to support and promote inclusion and has been distributed to all leaders in the area.
Team member Louisa Shapton said she was “extremely proud” of the team for hosting this successful event in challenging circumstances.
The 18-year-old said: “I really wasn’t sure how we would truly recreate the upbeat and accepting atmosphere that Prides are.
“However, we did it and I was really pleased with how it went.
“As it was online, we were also able to become even more inclusive and open the event up to younger members, so it was really fantastic.
“Everyone involved enjoyed and many people got in touch both thanking and saying how much fun it was.
“It was great to see everyone smiling and having fun whilst learning and celebrating.”
During the coronavirus lockdown, the team has undertaken numerous activities to boost morale and continue to unite Scouting communities.
These have included activities to create greater understanding and awareness of Down Syndrome, celebrating Ramadan by creating trees of good deeds and hosting a weekly Facebook live chat to discuss how to promote better inclusivity.
Miss Shapton added: “It’s very important to keep Scouting going under these tough times, not only is it a distraction from the uncertainty of the world, but also it maintains a sense of community, even if it’s not physically.”
ScoutsCymru is open to all young people in Wales regardless of faith, gender, sexual orientation, race or social background, and encourages its members to do more, learn more and be more
The organisation encourages and supports over 15,000 young people to develop invaluable skills for life, which help them succeed now and in the future.