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HomeNewsPlans For Ashford's First Pride Event Are Underway

Plans For Ashford’s First Pride Event Are Underway

Ashford will host its first LGBTQ+ pride event following the collaboration of two of the town’s renowned residents.

Samantha Griffin, 47, Radio Ashford Presenter and Heather Hayward, 46, Ashford Independent Councillor for Roman Ward, have joined forces to organise Pride Ashford.

The event is currently in the “early stages of planning” due to signing off the necessary permissions with the Ashford Borough Council and budget management.

Pride Ashford is set to commence on Saturday, 22nd June 2024, at Ashford’s Bandstand in the High Street.

Plans for the parade, beginning at Ashford’s Bandstand and ending at Coachworks Ashford, are in progress.

The organisers are currently working to provide visitors with various services and activities, including family arts and crafts, live performances and refreshments.

Additionally, organisers will ensure accessibility services are available to attendees throughout the day.

Commenting on accessibility, Cllr Hayward said: “If you want to take part but feel you face some kind of barrier, then let us take that barrier down.”

Other towns in Kent have previously held pride events; however, this will be the first one hosted by Ashford.

Pride Ashford hopes to be an event “the Ashford community owns”, showcasing what the town offers and providing a platform for the local LGBTQ+ community.

Mrs Griffin commented: “The LGBTQ+ community in Ashford is massive, but it’s an underground community as people don’t feel safe.”

“Through our conversations with local businesses prior to pride, we’re hoping to change that so they start taking steps to support the community,” she added.

Pride Ashford is seeking local individuals from all backgrounds to collaborate and participate in the event.

Diversify – a monthly LGBTQ+ social event – will host an event on Thursday, 7th March 2024, at Coachworks Ashford, calling for individuals who’d like to contribute to Pride Ashford.

Mrs Griffin said: “We’re proud that we’re reaching out and getting momentum for the event. We hope that other events and possibilities for the LGBTQ+ community are made possible in Ashford down the line.”

“Fingers crossed, it will be an amazing day.”

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