Priory recently took to the streets to celebrate the LGBT+ community, attending Chester Pride on its tenth birthday year. As sun beamed down on the beautiful city of Chester, service users and members of staff alike gathered, along with thousands of other attendees, to celebrate pride and community. The centrepiece of the celebration was certainly the parade; a joyful and colourful procession of supporters making way through the city, cheered on by the crowds.
Amongst those who marched in the parade were members of staff and residents from Autumn Leaf House, one of our Priory Adult Care residential sites. The team from Autumn Leaf House, which provides specialist residential support to individuals with autism, had made the long journey from Solihull in the West Midlands to be there.
Rutendo Kunyarimwe was one of the Support Workers at Autumn Leaf House who attended the celebration. "It was a really enjoyable experience, and it was great to see lots of different diverse communities coming together to celebrate the LGBT+ community," she said. "One of our service users attended, and she really came out of her shell at the event. She even said that that was one her favourite activities she has taken part in at the home."
Staff and residents from Priory Adult Care’s Fern Lodge also joined Priory at the event. The home provides specialist support to individuals with mental health needs, and is located in Chester. Chris Lynch, Support Worker at Fern Lodge, attended the celebration and said:
“To me, Diversity and Inclusion is really important. I’ve been to Chester Pride before (when it was much smaller) and when I found out about Priory’s presence in a recent newsletter I was so happy! I printed out the poster and spoke to a few of our service users who were interested.
“It was a fantastic turnout, the weather was amazing and it was great to be able to return to Chester Pride with Priory and Eric, one of our service users who expressed his interest from the start.
“Getting to march at Chester Pride with some of my residents makes me even more glad to care – I joined Fern Lodge six months ago as I really wanted to help make a difference and help people live their lives. As soon as I walked into Fern Lodge at my interview I knew I wanted to work there. It didn’t feel like I was walking into a ward, it felt like someone’s home, and I’m so glad we provide opportunities for our service users to get out into the community like this.”
The event was also attended by Priory’s Chief Executive Officer, Rebekah Cresswell, who commented:
“The atmosphere was electric and I felt so proud of all our colleagues and service users as we marched through the streets of Chester.
“I really enjoyed walking beside Eric, a resident at Priory Fern Lodge and holding the banner with him. It made me feel so happy. Eric waved at the staff at the charity shop where he used to have a job as he walked by, and was clearly enjoying the experience, this was truly Live your life in action.”
For more information on the specialist services Priory Adult Care can offer, please call the enquiries and referrals team on 0808 159 3137 or click here to make an enquiry.