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My Norwich

Ukrainian cities of Lviv and Odesa set to be granted Freedom of the City

Published on Monday, 7th March 2022

A heartfelt display of unity for the Ukrainian people will be at the forefront of a special council meeting on 15 March when the Freedom of the City is awarded to the cities of Lviv and Odesa.

Communities throughout Norwich, and beyond, have been shocked by the recent events in Ukraine with many people in the city coming forward to express their support for the Ukrainian people. 

Alan Waters, leader of the city council, said: “One of the ways the council can stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian cities of Lviv and Odesa – which, along with Norwich, are both recognised as UNESCO Cities of Literature – is to grant them Freedom of the City.

“This is something we can take forward at the special council meeting next Tuesday when the Lord Mayor will set out our plans to bestow the freedoms to the Ukrainian people of those two cities for their role in upholding the spirit and principles of democracy.” 

At the same meeting, the Very Reverend Dr Jane Hedges, Dean of Norwich Cathedral since 2014, will also be awarded Freedom of the City.

As the first female Dean of the Cathedral, Jane has demonstrated her dedication and commitment to the community of Norwich, particularly during the pandemic when she found creative ways to engage new audiences, notably with the helter-skelter in 2019 and Dippy the Dinosaur in 2021. 

Next Tuesday’s special meeting has been called by the Lord Mayor of Norwich. It will be live streamed on the council’s YouTube channel from 6.30pm for those who would like to watch it.

Awarding Freedom of the City

Awarding Freedom of the City of Norwich dates back to the 13th century. While it’s now largely an honorary title, it gives the city council the opportunity to recognise the contribution that individuals make to the city, or the distinguished service that groups of people can make.

Recent recipients include Sir Robert and Lady Sainsbury, Arthur Miller and Norwich City Football Club. More information can be found on the Honorary Freedom of the City page.

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