Pride Community Group Formed

Pride Community Group formed to bring people with shared interests together

A new group is being formed in Northern Devon to help bring people with shared interests together in order to create a new community that has inclusivity, social participation and health and well-being at its heart.

The group, which is being launched at Bideford Pride on Saturday, 1st September, is the result of discussions between the LGBT community and local organisations including Intagr8 and Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service around the isolation people in marginalised communities in Northern Devon feel.                     

Northern Devon has a large ageing population and a large LGBT population and both are not served particularly well by public transport, leaving many people feeling both geographically and socially isolated.

A third partner helping to facilitate the new group is Drink Wise, Age Well, which is a National Lottery funded programme to help the over 50s make healthier choices about alcohol as they age.

Isolation and loneliness have been proven to trigger harmful drinking above the government guidelines of no more than 14 units of alcohol a week and the consequences of that can be poor health, low mood and increased risk of falls and accidents.

Sallie McKay-Roper who is Community Safety Champion with Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service said: “We are delighted to be working with a number of individuals and partners to make this group a reality. We’ve been speaking to people in the LGBT community for some time now and it’s great to be finally launching the initiative, which we hope will be well received at Bideford Pride and by people in Northern Devon as a whole.”

The Fire Service has offered space at Barnstaple Fire Station for meetings, talks and films, while Intagr8 have offered their premises in Bideford to host art classes, craft activities and more. 

Rachel Raper of Intagr8 said: “This new group is a fantastic way for people across Northern Devon to get together to socialise, have fun and look out for one another. We already have a group of really enthusiastic people and partners on board and invite anyone who likes the sound of what we are doing to get in touch via our Facebook page.”