Coronation Street actor Charlie Condou and star of BBC 3’s Lip Service Heather Peace will join 500 walkers at Brighton Pavilion on Sunday 1 May at the start of the 2011 Stonewall Brighton Equality walk. The annual walk supports the lesbian, gay and bisexual equality charity’s work to tackle homophobic bullying in Britain’s schools and make them a safe and inclusive place for children from all families.

The 10k walk, which is supported by Brighton-based American Express and media partner Square Peg media – publishers of g3 and Out in the City – takes walkers through the heart of the seaside city. The 2010 Stonewall Equality Walk raised £63,000 for the charity’s Education for All programme. Also joining Charlie Condou and Heather Peace at the start line will be Giles York, Deputy Chief Constable of Sussex Police, who secured a place on Stonewall’s annual Top 100 gay-friendly employers list, published earlier this year.

Explaining why the Equality Walk is important to him Charlie Condou – who also plays gay parent Marcus Dent in Coronation Street – said, ‘As a parent myself I’m very concerned about bullying in schools; it harms everyone involved. It really worried me when I found out that teachers in our schools lack the resources and training to make their lessons inclusive, so I’m really pleased to be one of the hosts of this year’s Equality Walk as it’s raising money to support Stonewall’s work with primary schools. We need to help teachers in those schools make the environment inclusive for children from all types of families. This benefits all children and it’ll make them more confident to challenge homophobic language and bullying if it happens to them or their friends in the future.’

The 2011 Stonewall Equality Walk is raising money towards the distribution of Celebrating Difference, a teacher-training pack for primary school teachers.

‘The Equality Walk is a vital event for Stonewall and is a fantastic opportunity for people to make the most of the Royal Wedding Weekend in Brighton. Not only can you soak in the sunshine during the Walk, there’s also a post-Walk party to round the day off,’ says Stonewall Deputy Chief Executive Laura Doughty.

Registration for the Brighton Equality Walk costs just £10, and is free of charge to children aged 12 and under. And there’s a prize for the top fundraiser; two return business class tickets on the Eurostar, a two night stay in a 4 star hotel and £500 spending money – courtesy of American Express. For more information and to register visit www.equalitywalk.org.uk or call 020 7593 2827.

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