Manchester Pride is a registered charity that campaigns for equality and challenges discrimination; creates opportunity for engagement and participation and celebrates lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender (LGBT) life.
The charity fundraises for LGBT and HIV projects in the region through staging a number of events throughout the year including The award winning Manchester Pride Festival, The Manchester Pride Spring Benefit, events recognising International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHO), and our new annual programme of culture, Superbia.
Through these events, Manchester Pride raises funds for North West LGBT and HIV charities and community groups. Since 2003 we have raised and distributed over £1.2 million. In 2015, Manchester Pride funded 35 LGBT community groups in Greater Manchester including Sparkle, Lesbian & Gay Youth Manchester, Northern Wave Swimming Club, Oldham LGBT Consortium and Young Women’s Health Project.
A dedicated network of volunteers support the small team behind Manchester Pride and help us deliver our charitable and community objectives. This support is enhanced by a number of non-executive directors and trustees, who govern and lead the organisation on a voluntary basis.
Manchester Pride is represented around the globe by a number of patrons from the world of politics, film, television, music and literature. Patrons of Manchester Pride carry our important message for LGBT equality to the four corners of the world, championing Manchester Pride, the work we do, the achievements we’ve made and the journey we’ve yet to take.
It's been an incredible year with a number of exciting events and new initiatives for Manchester Pride. Check out this video and take a look back at some of the highlights from our flagship event "The Big Weekend".
Review From The CEO
2015 was another incredible year for Manchester Pride which saw increased community engagement and support from businesses, friends and allies.
Our fundraising efforts this year have exceeded our expectations. Commercially the organisation over performed on the majority of our income revenue stream targets and we are very pleased with the overall outcomes of the year. I’m an occasional fan of anticipation, where relevant, so please keep reading and scroll down to review the performance in detail. We hope you’ll be pleased by what you read.
The year started with a series of listening groups which provided the opportunity for members of our communities to make suggestions and pose questions to our Board of Trustees. There were some great topics discussed and I’m pleased to confirm that we were able to act on some of the suggestions. Examples include the introduction of Superbia; our calendar of cultural events and activities, in order to present activities and events to LGBT communities throughout the year.
We introduced contactless technology within the event site at The Big Weekend enabling our audience to pay for refreshments without the need to bring cash on site.
One feature we always get asked to bring back is fairground attractions. This has proved difficult in the past, simply because of available space, but this year we were able to bring elements of the funfair back to The Big Weekend, with vintage fairground attractions, including coconut shy’s, tin-can ally and hoopla.
In January we were awarded a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund for an exciting new LGBT Heritage project now entitled “OUT!”.
OUT! aims to celebrate and unite the rich and vibrant past of the LGBT community, providing a digital resource that enables LGBT communities, historians and researchers, tourists and local communities to learn about these histories, continue to contribute to the content and engage more fully with an important part of Manchester’s past in one single digital location. The OUT! website will bring a new lease of life to the existing LGBT heritage trail. You can now follow the original trail or create your own route while learning more about the rainbow tiles around the City Centre on a smartphone. The new website will be launched in the Autumn.
May saw the launch of a brand new event that will lead the way as the must-attend LGBT black tie event for the North West. The Manchester Pride Spring Benefit took place at The Monastery with a red-carpet, sparkling drinks reception followed by an evening of first-class food and entertainment. The live auction and raffle on the evening helped us raise funds for The Manchester Pride Community Fund and kick-started our fundraising efforts for 2015.
May also saw our supporters and allies join Team Pride to take on the Great Manchester Run as part of International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT). Operational staff from Manchester Pride, trustees and some very special supporters donned their trainers to run with pride and helped us raise more funds for The Community Fund.
Ahead of The Big Weekend, businesses around the city got behind us by taking part in a dress-down-day with a difference. ‘Bring the 90s to Work Day’, saw office workers, shop floor staff and senior managers around Manchester dig out their baggy flared denim jeans, crop-tops, shell-suits and Nike Air Jordan’s to create a city-wide office party, whilst helping raise funds for The Manchester Pride Community fund.
Also on the run up to The Big Weekend, we hosted two flagship Superbia events ahead, Tram Trax USA and Transcript. Tram Trax USA saw passengers take part in an exclusive moving gig on a privately chartered tram with live music, comedy and DJ. As a collaborative event with sponsors Metrolink, Manchester Airport Group and Thomas Cook Airlines, for one lucky passenger this was one unforgettable tram ride, which ended with a long-weekend in Miami!
Transcript brought together scriptwriters and actors from the world of television and film to discuss the development of trans and gay characters from script to screen. Hosted by Coronation Street writers Damon Rochefort and Ben Tagoe and with a panel of talent including Julie Hesmondhalgh (Coronation Street, Cucumber) Bethany Black (Cucumber, Dr Who) Bruno Langley (Coronation Street) and Annie Wallace (Hollyoaks), audiences were treated to a very striped-back and honest discussion on the development of gay and trans characters in television and how their stories move from script to screen.
From the moment we announced Texas, way back in February, we knew the Entertainment at The Big Weekend this year was going to be very special. A stellar line up included Union J, Alesha Dixon, DJ Fresh and of course an outstanding performance from Dannii Minogue.
An annual highlight for me is the Manchester Pride Parade, and this year it was brilliant to see our Grand Marshall, Sir Ian McKellen leading over 3,000 people through the streets of Manchester to tens of thousands of adoring spectators who came out to show support of Manchester’s LGBT communities – it was a breathtaking sight.
As The Big Weekend came to a close, our attention turned to The Vigil to remember those living with and those we have lost to HIV and AIDS. This year was a commemorative year for The George House Trust who celebrated their 30th Anniversary and The Vigil recognised the important work of GHT for the LGBT community in Manchester throughout the last three decades. The Vigil is an important reminder of why we come together to celebrate at The Big Weekend and offers us the opportunity to quietly reflect.
As we begin to implement plans for 2016 there'll be new initiatives, projects and events added to the calendar. One of which is the Queer Up North Legacy Award which will be presented by Superbia. This will be launched officially in the Autumn.
The team and I work throughout the year to deliver a calendar of first class events and activities that enable us to achieve our aims and constantly raise funds for the Manchester Pride Community Fund. We are always open to suggestion and I would encourage anybody interested in the organisation to come along to our next listening group, details of which can be found at our website.
I’d like to conclude with a huge “Thank-You” to all of our supporters. Manchester Pride continues to celebrate, campaign and create opportunities for engagement for our LGBT communities in this brilliant city and we couldn’t do this without you!
Now it’s time to focus on another exciting year ahead!
“Well @ManchesterPride you were epic! Definitely staying longer next year! #ManchesterPride2015”
Listening Groups provide a voice for members of the LGBT community to share ideas and help us shape the future of Manchester Pride. It’s where talk turns to action. From providing more events outside of The Big Weekend to offering alternative payment methods at our event bars and reintroducing fairground attractions – you spoke we listened! In 2015 we introduced our annual cultural programme, Superbia, providing you with more opportunities to engaging in events throughout the year. We introduced contactless payments at our event bars so that visitors didn’t have to carry cash with them, giving them peace of mind. And yes, we brought back fairground attractions for 2015!
Manchester Pride is proud to work in partnership with a number of community groups, charities and organisations in Greater Manchester. The Community Collective provides a soundboard for individuals representing community organisations and groups to share advice and best practice from policy-making, planning and implementation to event design and delivery.
Volunteers are at the very heart of Manchester Pride. Our Board of Trustees are all volunteers and we have over 200 people apply to volunteer each year for our various events and volunteer roles. Our volunteers, known as Pride Stars, help us fundraise to support vital services for local LGBT communities in Greater Manchester as well as partner HIV charities and organisations. They help us shout about Manchester Pride, helping us raise the profile of the organisation as a charity that delivers world class fundraising events, whilst helping us shape and improve the organisation for the future. Volunteers are essential to everything we do!
“The sense of pride I feel when I pull on my Manchester Pride volunteer T-shirt almost brings me to tears. I love being able to give back to my community and the team at Manchester Pride really value their volunteers, each and every one of us!”
Tony Chen - Pride Star 2015
Facts About Manchester Pride
acts performed across The Big Weekend 2015
individual site visits over The Big Weekend 2015
people participated in the 2015 Parade
mentions of @manchesterpride on Twitter
incoming messages received via social media channels
people applied to volunteer for The Big Weekend 2015
news articles around the world
volunteer hours were dedicated by our Pride Stars
grants distributed to organisations in 2015
Total amount raised
Once again, the LGBT Foundation threw open their doors over The Big Weekend offering visitors a place to refresh, recharge and reconnect through a number of community activities and initiatives including a community cafe, a buddying up service as well as health and wellbeing sessions and an LGBT tea dance.
In addition to promoting the great services provided by the LGBT foundation, Manchester Pride is proud to support the free safer sex packs for gay and bisexual men and transgender communities distributed by LGBT Foundation, and will pledge 1/4 of all funds raised by Manchester Pride in 2015 to this initiative.
George House Trust
Manchester Pride worked closely with George House Trust in the presentation of the Candlelit Vigil at the close of The Big Weekend 2015. Sackville Gardens was once again transformed into a scene of floating candles as visitors took time to remember those lost to and living with HIV to show solidarity and commitment to combating stigma and the spread of the epidemic.
Manchester Pride continues to support the George House Trust HIV Welfare Fund and will pledge 1/4 of all funds raised by Manchester Pride in 2015 to this cause.
Our Patrons and Ambassadors
“The reminders of our past, the celebration of our achievements and the hope for our future all wrapped up in 1 event. All you have to do is look around at how everyone interacts and how the businesses operate and you get such a sense of community in the air. I've been to many different prides over the last 10 years or so including some of those in Europe and I would gladly place Manchester Pride up there amongst the best.”
Scott Sammons, The Gay UK
A Special Thank You
2015 has been an exciting year for Manchester Pride as we continue to extend our programme of events throughout the year. The launch of the Superbia programme of events will, I hope, be a welcome addition to Manchester’s cultural calendar and I hope you all find something to enjoy from it.
This year, Manchester Pride, the Charity, has seen an increase in fundraising activity for 2015 ranging from the Manchester Pride Spring Benefit to The Big Weekend and the support we have received has been tremendous.
I would therefore, like to take this opportunity to thank every single one of you who has helped support Manchester Pride this year by attending one of our events, purchasing a Pledge Band, dropping a few coins into a bucket or taking on a challenge and fundraising for us. Your continued support directly contributes and makes a positive impact on Greater Manchester’s LGBT community.
I extend my personal thanks to the businesses in The Village who contribute to making The Big Weekend a huge success – and who demonstrate their commitment by proudly flying the flag in support of The Big Weekend and Manchester Pride.
I would like to personally acknowledge the huge support and dedication that our Community Trustee, Tracey Walsh at New York New York and our Community Patron, Tony Cooper at VIA - offer us by fundraising for Manchester Pride throughout the year. Thank you.
And finally, I would like to thank all our dedicated volunteers who give their time freely throughout the year, whether assisting in the office or welcoming visitors to our events. On behalf of the Board of Trustees and Staff, I salute you!
See you in 2016.
Chair of Manchester Pride