This year’s Brighton Pride festival was the biggest and most colorful to date, with record numbers of people visiting the city over the weekend and enjoying the festivities.
The Sussex Beacon, Brighton’s leading HIV charity, took part in the parade in glorious sunshine on Saturday, 4th August 2018. Cheered on by thousands of revellers and onlookers, the charity’s staff and volunteers proudly marched through the city to celebrate its vibrant LGBTQ+ community.
At Preston Park, The Sussex Beacon also had a stand in the heart of the community village. This offered a great opportunity to showcase some of its work, as well as information about services, volunteering opportunities and events. In addition, the stand featured plenty of Pride themed competitions and freebies that were available for visitors including glitter, stickers, sweets and snacks, and a life-size cut out of Britney Spears which provided many entertaining photo opportunities. Being part of the Community Village enabled the team to meet many other local charities and their representatives, and everyone hugely enjoyed the fun and friendly atmosphere in the park.
The Sussex Beacon was also grateful to receive substantial local fundraising support in the run up to Pride. This included a number of pre-Pride events which took place on Friday, 3rd of August 2018, such as the fabulous Actually Gay Men’s Chorus who performed their True Colours show, an all-day charity haircuts event by OS Barbers who donated all proceeds made from haircuts that day to the Beacon, as well as a cabaret with Miss Jason at the Railway Club and a concert with Krissie Ducann at the Regency Tavern, which all raised important funds for the charity. The Sussex Yeoman had organised a Pride charity brunch on Saturday, 4th August 2018, which provided another valuable fundraising opportunity which the charity was most grateful for. Earlier in the year, The Sussex Beacon was supported by Brighton Pride through selling festival tickets in one of its charity shops. This resulted in a fundraising total of £3453.00 from the added £1.50 / £2 handling fee that was received from each ticket sold.
Such community support is crucial for the charity to be able to offer its important services and continue supporting people living with HIV. The Sussex Beacon provides both inpatient and outpatient services for HIV+ individuals living in Sussex and beyond. This includes the charities 10-bedded Inpatient Unit, as well as weekly Day Service sessions, a Women and Families’ Support Group, a Peer Support Project, and additional Wellbeing Groups.
Bill Puddicombe, Executive Director at The Sussex Beacon, says:
“We are really proud to be part of Brighton Pride. We massively appreciate the support that we receive from the public and the Pride organisation leading up to and over the weekend. It was my first Pride Parade and I was bowled over by the positive reaction of the crowd to our group. Thanks to all our staff and volunteers who made our part in Pride a memorable one.”