Third Disability Pride attracts record crowds

The third annual Disability Pride Brighton event attracted more than 3,000 people to the seafront in Hove last Sunday.

THE event, hosted on Hove Lawns on Sunday, July 14, was organised “to raise awareness of the diversity and value of disabled people with visible and invisible impairments or conditions” and was organised by a diverse committee of disabled people.

Jenny Skelton, Founder and Chair said the event “couldn’t have gone better.”

She said: “All the hard work paid off and it was a wonderfully inclusive event.

“We had so many comments from people about what a wonderful day they had, and that is why we do it.

“We want to celebrate our identities and feel less isolated in the city, as well as engage with non-disabled people.”

Disability Pride Brighton was the first Disability Pride in England attracting over 2,000 attendees to it’s inaugural event in July 2017, on New Road in central Brighton.

The 2019 event began with a short parade along the promenade from the i360 led by Unified Rhythm – a carnival band with over 80% disabled members.

The event was officially opened by Alison Lapper MBE; Brighton and Hove Mayor and MEP for South East England, Cllr Alexandra Phillips; Caroline Lucas MP; and Jenny Skelton, Chair of Disability Pride.

Jenny Skelton (left) and Alison Lapper MBE (right), Photo: Perfectly Unique Photography

Jenny Skelton (left) and Alison Lapper MBE (right), Photo: Perfectly Unique Photography

Speaking at the event, Alison Lapper MBE, said: “What I love about this event is it doesn’t matter what you look like or who you are, we are all just human beings who should be working together and looking after each other. This is about being proud of who you are and togetherness and I think that is really important.”

Disability Pride received support from some other well-known disabled people including Eddie Kidd OBE, who attended the event.

Throughout the day, there was live music, acts, performances, and speeches from disabled people; work from disabled artists; activities, and stalls from organisations who offer support to local people and families, friends, and carers who are part of this diverse community.

The event also has a volunteering programme so that more people with both visible and invisible impairments or conditions can get involved and help organise the event.

This was funded by People’s Health Trust with money raised through The Health Lottery in the South East.

Speaking about Disability Pride Brighton, local MP, Peter Kyle, said: “I’ve loved supporting this and see it grow over several years. It really shows what a few caring but passionate people can achieve. It’s a chance for the disability community to come together, to celebrate and socialise, and for people like me to meet and listen to as many people as possible.”

Photo: Perfectly Unique Photography

Photo: Perfectly Unique Photography

The idea for Disability Pride came from disabled Brighton mum, Jenny Skelton, who also has three adopted children with various disabilities, after one of her children suffered an incident of disability discrimination. Since the first year, the event has attracted 30% more people. .

To date, The Health Lottery has raised over £109 million to support local charities across England, Scotland and Wales. Next month, funds raised from ticket sales will go towards funding projects in the South East.

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