Where it all began…
Back in July 2017 Lorna Stewart-Hook (Chair) had a vision to march at Northern Pride with a banner which was created by both staff and residents at HMP Northumberland. As an employee there for over 15 years it was important for her to get a LGBT support network and to show we really do have Pride. A few of us walked in the march with the banner and the Northumberland Gazette did an article about this. This is where it all began!
Within a few hours of the article going into the paper and online I was inundated with people volunteering to help organise “Northumberland Pride” following the comment I made “I hope Northumberland Pride will happen one day”.
Within the next 2 weeks a small group of us met up and an official Pride committee was formed. Everything happened so quickly I don’t think any of us knew just how far we would come, and how quickly. The gazette again followed our story with another article. By October 2017 we had secured a venue for the first Northumberland Pride; Alnwick Rugby Club on Saturday 2 June 2018. Things were moving very quickly, and its all because of a dedicated group of individuals who all share a vision to secure LGBT+ visibility, support and inclusion within Northumberland.
The initial theme we chose for the event was “Allies” and very shortly after engaging with the local community we realised it was “Allies and Community” and what a fantastic County we live in. We have met some amazing people, made some lifelong friends, and the journey has only just begun. We all have our specialities, or areas where we can shine (mine is probably bossing people around and over talking) but I can hand on heart say this is the most amazing thing I have ever been a part of, and these people are the most genuine, un-selfish and caring people. We do this for no money, we claim no travel expenses, we are a registered charity, and we genuinely do care about getting LGBT+ support into Northumberland. We have no hidden agenda, we are non-political, we are “US”.
For everyone we have engaged with so far – thank you. To all the local businesses who have believed in us and have donated things to us for raffles – thank you. To all the people who have volunteered their time to help us at events (and provide yummy cheesecakes and cakes) – thank you. We hope to see you at one of our events soon!