An LGBT awareness group is hosting a ‘ground-breaking’ event this Monday (Oct9) to combat hate crime and prejudice in Dorset.

The LGB&T Dorset Equality Network, which works for a ‘homophobia bi-phobia and transphobia free, inclusive Dorset’, is hosting the Anti-LGBT Prejudice Initiative Awareness Event – to launch their anti-LGBT prejudice and hate crime initiative.

The network’s lead officer, Alan Mercel-Sanca said: “It’s about bringing the right people together from the community and council to share their ideas together.”

Alan added the event will be highlighting awareness and include talks and announcements from people involved in the LGBT community.

“It is an opportunity to see what we are doing and where we are going,” he said.

The event will highlight the ongoing issues with homophobia in sport and issues related to anti-LGBT bullying.

Alan said: “We’ll be discussing mental health issues caused by unchallenged homophobic, bi-phobic and trans-phobic bullying and how people can help those who are suffering and take steps to supporting them.”

The network is partially funded by the Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner to raise awareness around prejudice, bullying and hate crimes.

Alan said they had already worked with council libraries to source educational books to help people understand how to take steps against prejudice when they witness homophobic behaviour.

“It’s getting people to understand about diversity and that diversity is the strength of the community and an importance in their lives,” he said.

Alan added that the event would also present an opportunity for members of the LGBT community to network with other LGBT groups, associated organisations and high-profile figures including the mayor and mayoress of Weymouth and council members.

LGB&T Dorset Equality Network is keen for community members and allies - those who take a positive stand against homophobia, bi-phobia, transphobia, to get in touch if they have anything they want to share, including LGBT 'inclusion best practice' in business, the arts or schools.

The awareness event will take place on Monday, October 9 at Weymouth Library between 4pm and 5.30pm.

For more information email or call 07811 269 454.