Every year as the weather warms up the UK holds Pride events to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. Pride month is the peak of these important celebrations that promote equality and acceptance. In this article, we look at how you can enjoy these pride celebrations as someone with specific mobility needs – including some top tips to help you enjoy the day.
The LGBTQ+ community is wonderfully diverse, and has an important emphasis on supporting everyone’s right to be their authentic selves. This means that anyone should be able to attend Pride events, whatever their accessibility needs.
Sometimes though, it can be useful to plan ahead – just like you would with any other event you’d attend. This will help you feel confident about attending and help to make the day run more smoothly. Below, we’ve listed some tips and advice to keep in mind so you can have a fun, accessible and memorable Pride!
Finding accessibility information
Having a fun Pride starts with finding the accessibility information of your chosen event. For larger events, such as London Pride, you can find a dedicated page on their website that covers accessibility. Everything from accessible public transport options to accessible toilet information can be found there.
Sometimes you’ll need to sign up to be on an access list for large events, so make sure you research ahead of time. For smaller venues, this information can sometimes be harder to find, but using social media or contacting the venue directly can be useful.
Some events, like Manchester Pride Festival, might require you to buy tickets beforehand – but they also offer a complimentary ticket for disabled people who need a carer or personal assistant to come with them.
Visiting a Pride Parade
Choosing a quiet spot
If it’s a Pride parade you’re looking to attend, then choosing a quiet spot can help you to have an enjoyable day. Sometimes there are accessible viewing areas available with dedicated wheelchair spaces and seating.
The beginning of the parade route is also usually a quieter area to view the parade from, if large crowds are overwhelming. The parade route is shared ahead of the day itself meaning you can plan your viewing spot or route. Staff are always on hand to provide advice on the day as well, so don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Accessible viewing platforms
Concerts and performances are often held at Pride events, but how do you join in when crowds are challenging? Accessible viewing platforms create a safe space where you can sit down or remain in your wheelchair throughout the event. You don’t have to worry about seeing across a crowd of people and having your view blocked.
At many large Pride events, there are BSL interpreters at the accessible viewing platforms too, which allows even more people to take part in the festivities. Make sure to check online to find out what is on offer to support you.
Joining a Pride parade
If watching the Pride parade isn’t enough for you, then you could always join the parade! Large Pride events such as London Pride offer a parade safe space during a quieter section for disabled people to be part of. There are extra stewards to help and a hop on, hop off wheelchair accessible bus following alongside too. You can leave the parade at safe points if things get too much as well. It’s the perfect way to throw yourself into the celebrations and feel a part of the community.
Smaller Pride events
If large events are overwhelming, consider getting involved in events in your local community instead. Smaller cities and town hold their own parades and parties that tend to be quieter, but still full of celebration.
Be aware that it is sometimes harder to find accessibility information for some of these smaller Pride parades – but if you are able to reach out to the organisers ahead of time and ask for access information/support, many will be able to help.
Visiting local LGBTQ+ venues
Another way you can celebrate on a smaller scale is by attending LBGTQ+ venues near you, as many of them will be hosting their own Pride-focused events. This can be things from pub quizzes and film screenings to brunches and drag shows – Google is your best bet for finding these smaller get-togethers in your area.
Make your own celebration!
You can always celebrate in your own way too, such as hosting a picnic in the park with your friends. The LGBTQ+ community is diverse, and the ways in which you can celebrate can be equally as diverse.
What to pack in your bag
Pride events can be long days, so bringing a well-packed bag is essential. Being prepared for all weather is always important in the UK – that means bringing an umbrella as well as a sun hat and sun cream. Water and snacks will keep your energy levels up too, as finding a shop once the festivities have kicked off can sometimes be challenging.
Don’t forget to bring any medication you need as well, so your day doesn’t get unnecessarily cut short. Comfort items such as earplugs, a mini fan or a fidget toy will also keep you comfortable so you can enjoy the day. Be aware that bag searches may be in place at some events, so try and keep your bags as small as you can.
The main thing to remember is that Pride is truly for everyone. Whether you choose to attend bigger events or make your own celebrations, getting involved in Pride can help you connect with the wider community and celebrate who you are. By taking some time to plan your visit beforehand, you can help make the festivities go more smoothly – so you can focus on having fun.
Interested in joining the Scheme?
About the Scheme
The Motability Scheme offers an all-inclusive package. If you are in receipt of a qualifying mobility allowance you can use it to lease a car, scooter, powered wheelchair or Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle. The Scheme provides flexible and hassle-free access to a brand-new, reliable vehicle of your choice. As well as a great choice of cars, we also provide a wide range of Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles, scooters and powered wheelchairs.
To join the Scheme, you must be in receipt of one of the following mobility allowances:
- Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
- Higher Rate Mobility Component of Child Disability Payment – Scotland
- War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement (WPMS)
- Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP)
You can easily check whether you’re eligible to join the Motability Scheme by using our eligibility checker tool.