The challenge of facing a year in lockdown for the North East LGBTQ+ community is to be the subject of an exhibition and a book.
Throughout 2020 Northern Pride had been running its Life in Lockdown campaign, gathering the stories shared by its community with thanks to the support of games company, Ubisoft, which is one of the world’s leading video game companies.
Along with announcing plans to share these experiences with the public later this year, Northern Pride has also outlined its post-Covid recovery strategy.
The organisation has created its own roadmap to reaffirm its commitment to supporting the LGBTQ+ family going forward, with a whole host of positive actions.
This includes looking to support local independent businesses, particularly those run or owned by LGBTQ+ people, along with giving mental health and well-being recovery support.
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“The economic and health impact of Covid-19 has hit everyone hard, and we are looking at ways that we can be proactive in helping those who run businesses or people who may have lost their jobs,” he said.
“We are looking at events such as job fairs and promoting employment opportunities as soon as it is safe to do so.”
The organisation has also been mindful of the fact that both young and old LGBTQ+ people have suffered during the pandemic, often because of feeling isolated.
“We will be supporting our LGBTQ+ youth through family events and events targeted at young queer people, whilst also looking at ways to give support to our older generations,” said Ste.
Other priorities remain, include amplifying black queer voices and supporting the continued fight for trans rights.
Cllr Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council echoed Ste’s words.
“Reflecting on the first anniversary of lockdown shows what a long and challenging year we have all experienced,” he said.
“As we shape the recovery plans for Newcastle as a whole, it is vital we support the unique and diverse communities that help shape our great city, and I know that Northern Pride will be working hard to support the LGBTQ+ community on the road to recovery.”
Northern Pride announced in February its decision to make this year’s Pride event in July a virtual festival for the second time, believing this was the most responsible decision given there is still uncertainty over the impact of Covid-19.
“Our priority has to be to keep everyone safe as we come out of lockdown, and as we plan our own particular roadmap, we want to make sure that we continue to support every part of the LGBTQ+ community,” Ste added.
“We have now had a year of exceptionally tough times for everyone, but we are going to do everything we can to help steer us to a much more optimistic future.”
Supporters, Ubisoft, is the creator of the iconic Assassin’s Creed game and
have several development studios and offices all over the globe – including a development studio and a consumer relationship centre located in the heart of Newcastle upon Tyne.