By Carly Lyes – 29 August 2019

Staff and young people in Manchester joined the Pride parade in Manchester this year, to show solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community.

A group of almost 30 colleagues, volunteers and people using Depaul UK services donned futuristic costumes and accessories to join in with the 2019 theme of ‘Deep Space Pride.’ Participants were invited to hit fast-forward and imagine what the world could be like in the future. Depaul representatives joined in, holding banners themed around the vision and mission of the organisation. They read: “A future without homelessness” and “A future where everyone has a place to call home”.

Young people using services in the Greater Manchester area and beyond attended workshops to create their costumes and placards.

Depaul UK Equality and Diversity Champion Carly Lyes said: “Research by the Albert Kennedy Trust has suggests that LGBTQ+ young people are disproportionately likely to be homeless. Data from The Outside Project (2019) and CHAIN (2017) suggests that many homeless LGBTQ+ people do not disclose their sexual orientation when accessing homelessness services due to previous negative experiences of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.

“We want that to change. We want to ensure that all clients within our services feel able to be open about their sexual orientation and gender identity, to feel able to be who they are and to feel valued as individuals.

“We want to raise visibility of LGBTQ+ staff and clients within the organisation and to create a culture of inclusion where LGBTQ+ people and non-LGBTQ+ allies work together to create a future of equality for all.”

“We believe in celebrating the potential in people, and through our participation in Manchester Pride, aim to celebrate the potential of our LGBTQ+ clients and staff and the many ways that LGBTQ+ people work with us to achieve our vision of creating a society in which everyone has a place to call home and a stake in their community.”

Richard Walker-Hardwick, who works for Depaul in the North East said: “We really enjoyed it and the emotion and support on the parade from the public was something special.”

Annaliese Day, who works at the Depaul UK head office in London said: “I felt so proud representing Depaul in the parade. In fact I don’t think I’ve ever had so much fun at work before; from making placards at Safe Stop with the ultimate pride parade playlist on, right up to the end of the parade. I don’t think I stopped smiling all weekend”

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