This year, 160,000 revellers came from across the UK and further afield for the Carnival Parade and Preston Park event, including 40,000 participants from the local Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community.
The Pride weekend kicked off with plenty of sunshine and spectacular celebrations. A highlight was the exciting parade, when The Co-operative led the procession with a rainbow of seven family of business banners and handed out whistles and postcards along the streets of Brighton.
The procession ended in Preston Park where thousands of people congregated to celebrate Pride. The park was a hive of activity and visitors loved the vibrant atmosphere, with hardly a patch of spare grass for them to rest their dancing feet.
The Co-operative worked very hard with the Brighton Pride organisers to ensure success and for the first time partnered on the volunteering strategy. It recruited hundreds of helpers, including members and staff, to help run the event. The opportunity was advertised through leaflets, till-screens and radio advertisements in stores across the South East.
The Co-operative Zone in Preston Park was surrounded by music tents, cabaret, calabash parties and much, much more, which all contributed to the animated atmosphere in the park.
The Co-operative Membership trailer was the most popular feature of the day, showcasing the ‘Plan Bee’ campaign and advising visitors on how they can help save the British honey bee from extinction.
There was a fantastic response to the Membership trailer and more than 120 visitors signed up for the opportunity to win a fantastic holiday to Lake Garda by completing the Co-operative Membership Quiz.
The Co-operative Pharmacy also supported the day and offered free blood pressure checks, helped promote safe sex and gave out free sun cream from the stand.
The Brighton event has a rich culture stretching back to 1992. It has been identified as the largest free Pride festival in the UK and our participation is a reflection of the extreme importance our members place on our commitment to both diversity and equality.
The Co-operative has been championing diversity for many years, not least in respect of the LGBT community.
• The Co-operative was the first to introduce the pink funeral
• We have raised thousands of pounds for the Terrence Higgins Trust
• The Co-operative has established a LGBT Employees’ Network
• The Co-operative has made a commitment to providing an LGBT-friendly working environment and is listed in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index.
Pinky Badhan, Regional Co-operative and Membership Manager for the South East, said: “From the parade to the main celebration in Preston Park, Brighton Pride was a fantastic event in 2010 and exceeded all our expectations. It was a great opportunity to celebrate diversity in the community.”
• For more information about other events supported by The Co-operative in the South East, email the South East Membership team at: [email protected]. Stephanie Mizon is a co-operative and membership officer for the Co-operative Group.
This feature is sponsored by The Co-operative Group.