Sage, a Time to Shine project which works to connect older LGBT+ people, is once again hosting a mellow space where people can enjoy Leeds Pride on Sunday 5 August.
Many older people who would like to come to Pride may be put off by the crowd sizes or the lack of toilets and places to sit down.
Sage, in partnership with Out in Leeds and Friends of Dorothy, is working to make the event as inclusive as possible for everyone by providing a space called “The Mesh” in the Matchum Room at the Marriot Hotel just off of Boar Lane.
The accessible space is close enough to the action that people can nip out to the festivities on Lower Briggate, but come back to sit down and chill out when they want to.
The event has been a great success for the past two years. One attendee described it as “an amazing free space to come and have a drink, chill out and talk. Beautiful atmosphere where I feel free and comfortable with just great, lovely people.”
Some older people can be put off by the raucous atmosphere, and that so much of the day seems to be centred around heavy drinking. The Mesh offers a calm space where they can still be part of it all.
“Pride Buddies” will be on hand to escort people in and out of the space from a bus stop or taxi drop-off location.
The Matchum Room will be open from noon on Sunday 5 August. Tea and coffee and light refreshments will be provided and The Cast Iron Bar will be open to purchase other drinks. The space is open to older people, people with disabilities and friends. The organisers would especially like to invite LGBT+ people from BME communities to come along.
If you are interested in coming and would like more information or to be connected with a Pride Buddy, please get in touch with Richard Rawlings on 07736 151895 or firstname.lastname@example.org.