Last Tuesday, a pop-up garden appeared at the front of Victoria Park in Swinton, featuring a re-creation of the Rainbow flag in flowers. It's all part of the Pride events that are happening across the region at the moment raising awareness and visibility of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.
Members of Out In Salford, the Community Network, the LGBT Youth Group and Salford City UNISON's LGBT group helped to plant the flowers...
"It's a great way to demonstrate LGBT visibility during the Pride season whilst giving pleasure to the other citizens of Salford who use Victoria Park" explains Hassan Ortega of Salford City UNISON's LGBT Group.
"To be honest, when I was planting my flowers I was thinking of all the LGBT colleagues in the trade union and labour movement who have fought over the years for our rights at work and in wider society" he adds "I have friends and colleagues who have been tortured and are in prison abroad for being both LGBT and labour movement activists – so for me it's a visible reminder that I can't forget them or their contribution. When I pass by on the bus each day the Rainbow Garden will remind me how fortunate I am to be free and not living in fear for who I am and what I believe in."
It's hoped that more Rainbow Flag Flower Beds will pop up across the city over the summer months. The Victoria Park creation follows the first display at Charlestown's Beacon Centre by Salford's LGBT Youth Group. More are planned at Salford City College, Salix Homes' spaces and at the University of Salford, although the community is being encouraged to come up with other suitable places.
"Anywhere else we can do them just let us know, it could be a flower bed, a planter anything really" said Gemma Pagett, Salford Council's Community Cohesion Co-ordinator "Part of my role is looking at LGBT work that goes on across the city and this brings together different partners. It's about inclusion and engaging with the community, and we'll also be doing Manchester Pride."
While the project is being co-ordinated by Salford City Council, the pop up Rainbow Gardens are being funded by contributions from the partners involved, which have ranged from £50 to £500.
"It's a little celebration in flowers" says Hassan "It should be an annual event..."
If anyone wants to suggest a site for a pop up Rainbow Flag Flower Bed contact Gemma.Pagett@salford.gov.uk