Ross, Bryan and I are the North West local organisers for the Civil Service LGBT+ group. We have organised participation in the Pride parades at:
- Blackpool Pride
- Liverpool Pride
- Chester Pride
- Manchester Pride
As well as parades, we have also organised Pride social events at:
- Salford Pink picnic
- Sparkle in Manchester
- Didsbury Pride
- Preston Pride
And we’ve kept up our regular monthly socials in Liverpool, Manchester and bi-monthly socials which alternate between Blackpool and Preston.
After a very quiet 2020/2021, our Pride season in the North West started in June at Blackpool and concludes in September at Preston. We have covered 4 out of the 5 counties in the North West, and will have organised 15 events over the last four months as well as supporting the Environment Agency at Chester Pride (thank you for having us).
As a cross-Civil Service group, we have met with some amazing colleagues from around the country and more departments than I knew existed. It has been incredible to network and socialise with new faces but also build on existing relationships too.
We have been privileged to have been involved in so many people’s ‘First Pride’ stories and touched at how many of the community and our allies want to show solidarity and be visible with us as civil servants. Our numbers have varied from 13 to 103. Each one has required a lot of time and energy but worth every minute when it all comes together – the smiles, joy and positivity really makes it.
We do all this on top of our day jobs as volunteers and we couldn’t have done it without our helpers in the background; departmental contacts sharing information, colleagues promoting events, as well as those participating and continuing to support our events – so a big thank you too all.
As well as the Civil Service network, a:gender – the cross Civil Service trans and intersex network – are so welcoming to us when we meet them at events. The joy of catching up in person with real people has been overwhelming this year.
We do this because we want everyone to have someone to walk with or to and not feel like they are left in the shadows alone, like a lot of us were in the past. I always describe our role as a compass: knowing the right person, team or organisation to point to but also staying on the path till you know where you are.
As a region we also have a newsletter that we send out to keep everyone involved and aware of things that we are doing. This is an additional email to the main Civil Service LGBT+ Network email alerts. If you would like to sign up please follow the below steps.
Join the North West region mailing group
To join the North West regional mailing list:
- Send a blank email to email@example.com(link sends e-mail)
- Wait for a response from the system (check your junk folder after a few minutes if you don’t receive a response)
- Reply to the email with a blank message (which will be to
firstname.lastname@example.org)– If you see a button in your browser that says “join this group”, don’t click it, as this step fails
- You will then receive email confirming that you have joined, and start to receive newsletters when we send them out
Our next events can be found on the Events page
Many thanks for reading and please continue to support all the local and national networks as together we do make a difference
Matt (otherwise known as the ribbon man)