Date and venue unveiled for county’s first Pride festival

Alnwick Rugby Club president Dennis Hetherington, third left, with members of the Pride committee, including Lorna Stewart-Hook, fourth left.
Alnwick Rugby Club president Dennis Hetherington, third left, with members of the Pride committee, including Lorna Stewart-Hook, fourth left.

A date and venue have been announced for Northumberland’s first Pride festival, which organisers hope will put the county on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) map.

The event is set to be staged on Saturday, June 2, in Alnwick, with plans to hold a march from the Market Place to the rugby club, where there will be health and family zones, a main stage hosting music and local organisations showcasing their services.

The festival is the brainchild of Lorna Stewart-Hook, who is married to Carmelle. The couple live in Alnwick.

After attending this year’s Northern Pride in Newcastle, Lorna said that she would love to see Northumberland stage its own event.

Her ambitions attracted a lot of positive feedback, resulting in the formation of a committee to plan and take forward the festival.

She said: “We are thrilled to be hosting the very first Pride event in Alnwick. We want the event to raise awareness of the challenges LGBT people face, but also for it to be a celebration of how far we have come in terms of LGBT equality.

“Northumberland is lacking in LGBT support services and social events. As a committee, we hope to change this and put Northumberland on the LGBT map where it deserves to be.

“We plan to be visible throughout Northumberland. We are set to launch our official Northumberland Pride Facebook page today – which will have event information on – and the website will be live soon.”

Last weekend, the Pride committee met members of the community at Amble’s Radcliffe Club, as an off-shoot to National Inclusion Week.

Lorna said: “Community engagement is one of our key focuses and the theme of our Pride event is allies. The day provided positive feedback and gave us the chance to connect with a variety of individuals who wanted to learn more about us and support our vision.

“Our focus throughout the year remains on community support, engagement and awareness with a key focus on allies. We want to engage with local schools, churches, youth groups and organisations and operate all year round, not just as a one-off event.

“More community engagement events will take place in the coming months, with details online.”