Rainbow flag flies from Mendip this Valentine Weekend

Mendip District Council is flying a rainbow flag from its buildings in Shepton Mallet this Valentine weekend, to signal love, kindness and hope.

flag It will flutter proudly above the council offices, which are currently transformed into a GP-lead medical hub and are central to the vaccination roll-out programme in Mendip.

As residents, NHS professionals and volunteer Mendip staff attend sessions at the hub, they'll no-doubt spot the multi-coloured symbol, adopted recently by the public as an emblem of hope and a 'thank you' to our NHS heroes.

The rainbow flag has also been long-associated with LBGTQ+ communities. And as February is LBGTQ+ History Month, it seems doubly appropriate to display it.

Mendip District Council Leader, Cllr Ros Wyke, said: "We are raising the rainbow flag to thank the NHS and our volunteer staff for their efforts in fighting COVID and saving lives.

"We are demonstrating our commitment to equality and inclusiveness, friendship and love, and the desire for hope, on this Valentine Weekend and during LGBTQ+ History Month."

Mendip staff have been on the frontline, assisting NHS professionals in the vaccine roll-out and with community testing. More than 7,000 residents have now received their first injection from medical teams operating out of Mendip's hub.

Mendip staff outside medical hubCllr Wyke concluded: "We recognise that many of us are fractious and feeling under pressure after 12 months of lockdown, with all the suffering and devastation COVID has brought to communities. That's why we must treasure our loved ones, and take extra care for those around us this weekend, and going forward."

Notes to editors:

The Coronavirus Helpline is 0300 790 6275. The helpline makes it easier for people to access the help they may need, including emotional support, in the current crisis. It's open seven days a week, 8am to 6pm.

Check out LGBTQ+ support organisations working in Mendip and Somerset here:  www.mendip.gov.uk/lgbtqplus