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August 12, 2016

An Age-Friendly Pride!

Time to Shine and its delivery partner Sage (a partnership of Yorkshire MESMAC and Age UK Leeds) tried something new this year for Pride: offering a “mellow space” right in the heart of the party, at Lambert’s Yard on Lower Briggate.

One of Leeds’s largest annual events, Leeds Pride drew upwards of 40,000 people to the city centre to celebrate the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans communities.

Crowds that size can be off-putting to a lot of people, possibly due to limited mobility or increased sensitivity to noise. To make Pride accessible and fun for as many people as possible, we took over the third floor of Lambert’s Yard to give people a place to get away from the masses but still be near the fun.

Historically Age UK has had a family-friendly space at their Arch Cafe, but past attendees told them that it was a bit too far away from the parade route and stages to feel “part of it all.”

So when Lambert’s Yard opened its doors for Pride, approximately 80 people came in to enjoy the quiet atmosphere, refreshments, and a great view of the stage and party down on the street below.

One person described it as “brilliant! A much needed relaxed space, but still right in the middle of the action.” Another shared, “We really enjoyed ourselves, just goes to show it doesn’t take much to lift one’s spirits when one is at low ebb.”

Time to Shine also had a stall in the Call Lane marketplace to spread the word about the problem of social isolation and to ask people what they thought would make Leeds Pride more age-friendly. (And get people decorated with our popular temporary tattoos!) 

Amongst the suggestions were:

  • a wider range of music
  • readily available water
  • accessible toilets
  • more activities which are alcohol-free
  • places for people to sit down
  • images of older people in the marketing materials

Time to Shine will look at how we might be able to bring some of these suggestions to life, and will also hope to host a similar space next year. We’ll take what we learnt this year and making it even better and more age-friendly.

Photos by Sean Tunnicliffe and Peter Howarth. To see the full album, visit our Facebook page