Northumberland to host its first LGBT+ Pride event

Northumberland to host its first LGBT+ Pride event

Northumberland, England’s most northerly county, is to host its first lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) Pride event, the biggest LGBT+ event to have ever taken place in the county. Taking place in Alnwick, famous for its ancient market square, world-renowned Alnwick Garden, and of course its castle that featured in the first Harry Potter movie, the main Northumberland Pride event will take place on 2nd June 2018 at Alnwick Rugby Club.

A small team of dedicated volunteers from across the county have come together to develop the first Northumberland Pride and in a short space of time they have curated an impressive lineup of diverse and inclusive community engagement events.

The team are really going the extra mile to authentically engage with the LGBT+ community across the vast county, where so many people live in small villages and more isolated areas. Engagement events, where cake and refreshments are served – count us in, have already taken place in Ashington, Hexham, Alnwick and Bedlington – with more planned.

Northumberland Pride Founder and Chair Lorna Stewart-Hook said : “Back in July 2017 I attended Northern Pride representing Sodexo and HMP Northumberland. From that I made a comment saying Northumberland really could use a Pride event, or more LGBT visibility. Fast forward a few weeks and we had established a core committee and were making plans to hold the very first Northumberland Pride.”

Not ones for doing things by halves, the team have curated ‘The 7 Days of Pride’ where they have collaborated with other community groups and venues to offer a diverse mix of events taking place in the run up to the main Pride day on 2nd June. Events taking place in advance of the main day include a ‘5K Fun Run’ with the Alnwick Harriers on 31st May, the ‘Sing with Pride’ event at Amble Parish Hall on 13th May, a sold-out quiz night at Alnwick Rugby Club on 20th April and ‘A Service for Pride’ at St James’s URC in Alnwick on 29th May. Keep updated by visiting the Northumberland Pride website here.

“The team are really going the extra mile to authentically engage with the LGBT+ community across the vast county, where so many people live in small villages and more isolated areas.”

If you’re attending the family friendly and free to attend Northumberland Pride on 2nd June, that will begin with a march through Alnwick town, you can expect a warm welcome from the organisers, a main stage with music from a range of acts including X Factor finalist Niki Evans and Lorraine Crosby (the voice of Meat Loaf’s mega-hit ‘I’d Do Anything For Love’), community focused stalls providing information from local organisations, a Health & Well Being Zone, a Family Zone and more. Everyone is welcome!

Thomas Anderson, Founder of Inclusive Networks, lived in Alnwick for the first 25 years of his life and said : “I’m really proud to see my home county Northumberland is hosting its own LGBT+ Pride event. I moved away from Alnwick ten years ago as I felt I couldn’t be myself because of my sexuality and I know this event will mean a lot to the many LGBT+ people who live in Northumberland and perhaps don’t feel they can be themselves in every part of their lives and currently have limited opportunities to meet other LGBT+ people. Well done to the Northumberland Pride team for making the event a reality. Good luck!”

Northumberland is home to over 315,000 people, with over 8,000 people living in Alnwick, so it would be fantastic to see the masses come out and support the first Northumberland Pride and show that the county is an awesome place that celebrates diversity and inclusion and accepts everyone. Will you be attending?


About The Author

Thomas Anderson

Founder and MD of Inclusive Networks. Thomas was Chair of the award winning LGBT network for The Co-operative Group, ‘Respect’ (2011-14). Thomas named the network and designed and managed all of the branding, communications and engagement until he stepped down from the role of Chair in March 2014. He also created the branding, name, was Editor of the quarterly magazine and developed the launch of the UK’s first Inter-Retail LGBT network ‘CheckOUT’. He contributed to the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index 5 Year review. In recognition of his work in the diversity field he was shortlisted for ‘Diversity Champion of the Year’ at the 2013 European Diversity Awards, shortlisted for ‘Role Model of the Year’ at the 2012 Lesbian & Gay Foundation Homo Heroes Awards and shortlisted for the ‘Positive Action’ award at the 2013 Asian Fire Service Association Fair & Diverse Awards. He also won the 2012 ‘Pride of The Co-operative’ award. He was a judge for Scotland's biggest diversity awards, The Icon Awards in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

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