I’m ashamed to say that I have never been to a Pride Event before.
So when my wonderful employer, St Peter’s Hospice, announced that it was to be part of Bristol Pride I jumped at the idea to volunteer. I love representing St Peter’s Hospice anyway and relished the idea of a new experience.
Unfortunately I couldn’t make the parade as I had committed to a Litter Pick that day so my role was a stint in the SPH ‘marquee’ during the afternoon (personally I’d call it a gazebo but that’s splitting hairs).
So I turned up, on my own, to the festival on the Downs and found a very well organised, friendly, FUN festival. I filled my water bottle at the Bristol Water Bar (I love that they have this at so many public events now – if only they would be at cricket matches at the County Ground) and had a quick look round before finding our stand.
I was impressed by several things:
- Everyone could be who they wanted to be. That might not be the person they are or have to be at other times but it was who they were today.
- EVERYBODY was welcome – irrespective of age, race, colour, sexual orientation or gender. There were families, elderly people, groups of teens and individuals.
- The atmosphere was fabulous – calm but with some excitement, happy, helpful and friendly
- The music was great – I heard Boney M while I was on duty and everyone was singing and dancing. There were also other stages, a silent disco, chill areas and a family area.
- The number of bodies present to share how they could assist individuals was amazing. Health organisations, councils, political parties, banks and so many charities that I couldn’t mention them all. If you’re interested in this go to the Bristol Pride page here. What this tells me is that all of these services support all those who need them, irrespective of who they are.
We had a great time on the St Peter’s Hospice stand. So many people had stickers, sweets or wristbands and children (and some adults) had their photo taken with Lenny Bear or Miss St Peter’s Hospice 2019. I took dozens of photos on people’s phones of them with the SPH Pride frame. Hopefully this will increase awareness of Bristol’s only adult hospice and promote that we are friendly, approachable and supportive to all who need us.
A special shout-out to Miss St Peter’s Hospice 2019 who worked so hard all day.