First ever Pride event for Trafford

Pride Proud to be part of the plan

Sale resident, twenty-four year old Christopher Oatway is the founder of Greater Manchester Social Support Network, funded through both the AXM Foundation and O2/Telefonica’s Think Big. Originally from Wythenshawe, he came out in 2013 and soon realised, although he didn’t need the services personally, that many of the charities, support organisations and social groups in the city centre of Manchester were poor at outreach to the more local, suburban ‘hard to reach’ areas where people need them. Since then he has been on a mission to raise awareness of them among one another and in other local authority areas.

With local prides popping up all over the North West, Chris set his mind on organising the first pride event in his hometown, holding it the weekend before Manchester’s Big Weekend in August 2016. After the success of Wythenshawe Pride, attended by the first openly gay Lord Mayor of Manchester, Councillor Carl Austin-Behan and his husband Simon with Transgender Hollyoaks actress Annie Wallace, he decided to set his heart on organising an LGBT celebration of acceptance event in the Metropolitan Borough of Trafford; one of the Greater Manchester authorities not covered by a local pride event, but he struggled to find a suitable venue.

A volunteer and formerly director of local radio service Trafford Sound, a fellow director spoke to the chairman of the Altrincham District Festival about the possibility of incorporating the pride aspect and, upon agreement, they involved Chris and plans developed to create a section of the site at Beech Fields for the promotion of LGBT services and to celebrate the normality and local presence of LGBT people.

As well as a reflective and highly colourful entry into the parade, along with entertainment from acts and drag queens, stands showcasing organisations, businesses and social groups who support and help LGBT people are being featured in a dedicated space on the site. The event is inclusive and open to anyone, particularly members of the LGBT community and allies who support them.

Thanks go to the AXM Foundation for their grant towards the event, as well as their funding of Greater Manchester LGBT Social Support Network who have also supported the event, as well as the Altrincham District Festival team and Trafford Sound for believing in the idea.

To find out about services of benefit to LGBT people across Greater Manchester, contact Chris at Greater Manchester Social Support Network on 07873 485265 or find them on social media.

Chris is also involved with the organising of Stockport’s first Pride event on Sunday 30th July in the Market Hall.

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story published on  Mon, 8 May 2017