Proving that love is love at any age, over the weekend (Saturday 13th August), a group of residents from dementia specialist, Belong Atherton, flew their flag at Wigan Pride, championing their support of older people in the LGBT+ community in the town’s annual parade.
Customers and support workers from the Mealhouse Lane care village celebrated this year’s sunshine, energy and vitality theme at the event which also coincides with fifty years since the UK’s first Pride, hosted in London in 1972.
Kim Calland, experience coordinator at Belong Atherton, said: “This year’s Pride is especially important as our customers have lived through decades of law changes, evolving attitudes and eventually, acceptance of LGBT+ people in society. They wanted to attend the event and be part of it, so we’ve made that happen for them.”
The Belong Atherton party marched side-by-side with the community, sporting their vibrant outfits, whilst spreading joy and happiness for what has now become an annual tradition for residents. In preparation for the event, the village’s popular weekly creative crafts afternoon open to local people, saw participants design the brightly coloured banners which were showcased for the occasion, meaning that those who couldn’t attend, such as for health reasons, were still represented.
The highlights of the afternoon ranged from parade celebrations, meeting and mingling with Wiganers, drag artists, council and emergency services representatives, as well as singing and dancing to live music, including a special performance from 2000s pop duo, Cheeky Girls.
Kim Calland added: “We all had a wonderful time celebrating Wigan Pride again this year; it was fantastic to see so many people from different backgrounds come together. Inclusivity, diversity and individuality are very important to us at Belong and this was a perfect opportunity to celebrate our values with the Wigan LGBT+ community.”