This August we saw the largest Pride event in the UK take place here in Sussex in Brighton and Hove. The Pride LGBTQ+ Community Parade is one of the highlights of the year in the city and was a glorious showcase of the city’s charities, community groups and small businesses as well as an opportunity for public and private organisations to show their support.
It is one of the biggest and brightest events in Brighton & Hove’s events calendar, with over 300,000 people thronging the city’s streets to participate in, and watch the parade of community and campaign groups, and the all-singing, all-dancing carnival of colour as it made its way from Hove Lawns to Preston Park for “We Are Fabuloso”, the official Brighton & Hove Pride charity fundraiser. Funds raised at the event go to the Rainbow Fund, which gives grants to local charities throughout the year.
However, Brighton and Hove Pride is more than just a party; it’s a time where community projects, companies and local people come together to spread awareness of and show support for the LGBT+ community. This year, organisations all across Sussex came together in celebration of Brighton Pride including our fund-holders at American Express, participating in the parade for their 11th year in a row. And many charities we have funded over the years including The Ledward Centre who hosted their own “Brighton Pride Family Day”, reading stories to local LGBT+ youth and children of LGBT+ parents, the Allsorts Youth Project in Hastings and Esteem in East Worthing and Shoreham.
The Rainbow Hub, Brighton
Currently based in The Ledward Centre on Jubilee Street, The Rainbow Hub is a service that provides counselling, advice and support for LGBT+ people throughout the city. With their specialised drop-in service, they have helped reduce isolation for those struggling through the pandemic, as well as provided support for those struggling with drug and alcohol abuse.
The Rainbow Hub is predominantly run by members of the LGBT+ community, ensuring that the users feel as though they are being seen by a peer who understands the difficulties that the community faces.
Allsorts Youth Project, Brighton/Hasting
Allsorts Youth Project offers one-to-one emotional support service (Talk It Out) that provides young people with confidential spaces to talk openly about their feelings and offers valuable opportunities to improve emotional wellbeing and build self-esteem. They also have specialised workers that help POC (People of Colour) groups to help address the intersection of race and sexuality/gender identity. Beyond this, they also provide support to the parents of these children and young people in order to help create understanding and cohesion between both parties.
Esteem, East Worthing & Shoreham
Esteem help to assist the transition into training, education and employment for young people aged 14- 26. They provide 1:1 tuition, volunteering experience and training in a safe environment for people to ask questions.
Most recently, Esteem have set up a specific LGBT+ group where they have created 4-6 Training courses for Peer Mentors, which will include Safeguarding, Leadership, Group Facilitation and LGBTQ+ specific courses. These mentors attend drop-in sessions for two hours a week where they discuss their experiences and also provide a specific LGBT+ counsellor in order to deal with the specific intricacies that the community face.
While Esteem is not a LGBT+ charity, they are taking measures to make the quality of their work inclusive.
Year Around Allies
With changes being made to LGBT+ relationship rights over the last few years, Lewes based Mayo Wynne Baxter Solicitors are providing specialist support for those in Civil Partnerships or same-sex marriage. Hart Reade Solicitors, who have four offices across East Sussex, boast an LGBT+ specialist private solicitor called Faye Harlow Smith, who not only studied specific laws surrounding civil partnerships and legal gender changes while at University but also campaigned for same-sex marriage to come into practice in the UK.