This year's Pride to be the most inclusive and accessible yet

Pride will be returning to the Ipswich Waterfront on June 18, and is set to be Suffolk Pride's most accessible parade yet.

Pride will be returning to the Ipswich Waterfront on June 18, and is set to be Suffolk Pride's most accessible parade yet. - Credit: Alexander Ward

Sign language interpreters, full wheelchair access and specialist facilities and expert helpers will mean this year's Suffolk Pride event in Ipswich is the most accessible event yet. 

Next Saturday will see Suffolk Pride’s third parade, and making sure the day can be enjoyed by as many people as possible is vitally important, explained head of access and inclusion, Lucy Edwards, 33. 

“I have a disability myself. I have muscular dystrophy,” Lucy explained. 

Lucy Edwards is Suffolk Pride's head of access and inclusion.

Lucy Edwards is Suffolk Pride's head of access and inclusion. - Credit: Lucy Edwards

Lucy Edwards, with Suffolk Pride Chair Adria Pittock , centre, at Pride 2021

Lucy Edwards, with Suffolk Pride Chair Adria Pittock , centre, at Pride 2021 - Credit: Alexander Ward

Accessibility has been carefully considered.

Accessibility has been carefully considered. - Credit: Suffolk Pride

“One of the things I find as a disabled person is that going to events, you can have quite a lot of anxiety about what the access is going to be like. 

“This year, the parade route on Ipswich Waterfront is fully accessible to wheelchairs and people with mobility issues. 

“In terms of facilities, we will have changing-place toilets, supplied by Mobiloo. These are toilets with a dedicated attendant and a hoist. 

“We will also have BSL interpreters, who will be signing at the majority of our events.” 

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It is not just those who have physical disabilities whose needs have been considered. 

There will be designated ‘chill-out’ spaces at The Hold and Paddy and Scott's within the University of Suffolk. 

These will provide a calming space to those with autism, anxiety, sensory issues, or anyone in need of a quiet, calm space. 

Pride will be returning to Ipswich Waterfront on June 18.

Pride will be returning to Ipswich Waterfront on June 18. - Credit: Alexander Ward

Pride will be returning to Ipswich Waterfront on June 18.

Pride will be returning to Ipswich Waterfront on June 18. - Credit: Alexander Ward

Adria Pittock is Chair of Suffolk Pride.

Adria Pittock is Chair of Suffolk Pride. - Credit: Alexander Ward

Lucy is pleased that Suffolk Pride is taking the needs of  disabled people into account.

“Sometimes prides aren't always super accessible for disabled people and often queer nights and LGBT nights might be in venues that aren't very accessible,” she said. 

“We're really keen to kind of make sure that this works for the whole of the LGBT community. 

“We're also really excited because we are working with Ace Anglia, who are a really great charity who work with adults with learning disabilities.  

“Some of their volunteers are going to be there on the day, acting as a ‘meet and greet’ for people with disabilities.” 

Those with specific needs are welcome to make contact with Suffolk Pride beforehand, so that they can arrange for them to be met by an Ace volunteer. 

Suffolk Pride is on June 18 at the Ipswich Waterfront.