The third annual Disability Pride Brighton event was a smash hit, attracting more than 3,000 people last Sunday.
The event, hosted on Hove Lawns, is organised to raise awareness of the diversity and value of disabled people with visible and invisible impairments or conditions and is 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 event in England and held its inaugural event in July 2017, attracting over 2,000 attendees.
The 2019 event began with a short parade along the promenade 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, Cllr Alexandra Phillips; Caroline Lucas MP; and Jenny Skelton, Chair of Disability Pride.
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 has 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 organise the event. This has been 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.”
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.
About Disability Pride Brighton
Disability Pride Brighton is a constituted community group of disabled people in Sussex, who came together after a Facebook post by Jenny Skelton about a disability discrimination incident in Brighton went viral. They collectively organised the first Disability Pride festival in England and continue to do so, for anyone with any disability plus friends, family, carers, professionals, and allies. The festival is now an annual disabled-led event, for everyone in the community who wants to help people with physical or mental impairments or conditions of any kind to celebrate.
Please note that Disability Pride Brighton is not a specific event only for the disabled LGBTQ+ community, as we are often asked about this. All disabled people and allies, with any identity and background, are welcome. We are called Disability Pride as part of a wider movement of other international Disability Pride organisations. This year, we have linked up with Disability Prides in New York City, Italia and Senegal
People’s Health Trust is an independent charity investing in local communities to help create a society without health inequalities. It works closely with 12 Community Interest Companies raising money through The Health Lottery and distributing grants. www.peopleshealthtrust.org.uk
Health Lottery East is a regional lottery which exists to address health inequalities in its area.
The lottery is licensed by the Gambling Commission and raises funds through The Health Lottery which are distributed by People’s Health Trust. https://www.healthlotteryeast.org.uk
The Health Lottery is an independent British lottery scheme. It manages 10 regional and two country lotteries across Great Britain. Each month, the money raised is allocated to one of those areas in rotation. This means that across the year, every area of England, Scotland and Wales gets a share of the funds raised. The 12 lotteries are run for one specific purpose: tackling health inequalities in their respective areas.
Over £109 million has been raised so far. Every £1 ticket bought helps raise even more.