Lucy Edwards is the Head of Access and Inclusion for Suffolk Pride. Here, she explains how this year’s event, taking place on the waterfront in Ipswich this Saturday, is promising to be the most accessible and inclusive yet
As a disabled person who identifies as LGBTQ, it is very important to Lucy to make Pride accessible for all. Lucy, who is a lawyer by day, is Head of Access and Inclusion for Suffolk Pride, the non-profit organization that hosts the LGBTQ+ Pride Festival in Ipswich, annually. And accessibility is very much at the forefront of this year’s event, as Lucy says: ‘Disability access can often be overlooked and Suffolk Pride wanted to make sure that we not only make our event fully accessible but also that we shine a light on how much people with disabilities can bring and contribute to Pride!’
The day kicks off with a Parade beginning at Dance East at midday, which will travel along the waterfront from Dance East to the Main Stage (opposite @cultcafebar ) and will fully accessible to wheelchair users. Hosting some of the best drag artists, musicians and dancers in the country, the Main Stage will have a dedicated viewing area for people with disabilities and seating will be available.
On the Arts Stage at the @uniofsuffolk, there will be poets, speakers and the Disability and Queerness Panel. The University of Suffolk is wheelchair accessible with disabled and gender-neutral toilets – and there will also be seating available. Whereas over at the Hold, all the drag and music performances on the Youth Stage have all been curated by local LGBTQ+ young people. The Hold is wheelchair accessible with a disabled toilet.
Lucy says: ‘All of our stages and our Parade are wheelchair accessible and the majority of our acts will be BSL interpreted. In terms of facilities, we will have changing-place toilets, supplied by Mobiloo. These are toilets with a dedicated attendant and a hoist (provided by Mobiloo UK), as well as disabled toilets.’
She adds: ‘There will be designated ‘chill-out’ spaces at The Hold and Paddy and Scott’s within the University of Suffolk. These will provide a calming space to those with autism, anxiety, sensory issues, or anyone in need of a quiet, calm space.’ A quiet craft area will be hosted by Ben Driver of the Guy Cry Club in The Hold from 1:30pm until 6:20pm.
‘We are especially excited to be working with ACE Anglia ( @ace_anglia ) who will be onsite all day to assist attendees with disabilities,’ says Lucy, before adding: ‘We hope that we can showcase how fantastic events can be when they are fully accessible and inclusive for all!”
Celebrating 50 YEARS of Pride in the UK, the waterfront in Ipswich hosts Suffolk Pride on Saturday June 18, 2022. If you have any questions or would like to discuss your access requirements prior to Saturday, please contact email@example.com
Pride 2022 – Suffolk Pride:
Main Stage – The Suffolk Pride March travels from Dance East at 12.30pm to the MAIN STAGE performances from 1pm to 8pm
Youth Stage – at The Hold from 1.30pm to 6.30pm. FREE – Created for and co-produced by local young people
Arts Stage – at The University of Suffolk Foyer from 1.30pm to 6.30pm – FREE – Spoken word, poetry, panel discussions & live art
The Suffolk Pride After Party at Boom Battle Bar from 9pm to 1:30am – it’s the Pride Weekends “Hottest Ticket”. Get yours at eventbrite.