Pride Progress flag.pngHealth advice for the LGBT+ community will be on hand at this weekend’s Cumbria Pride.

The event, which is being held at Carlisle Castle, is supported by North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust and other local businesses.

This year is the 12th year of Pride. Last year the event had to be held virtually due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Cumbria Pride promotes equality, diversity and aims to be a strong voice for Cumbria’s LGBT+ community.

Staff from the NCIC will have a stall with a focus on how Coronavirus has affected the mental health of the LGBT+ community. Sexual health advice will also be on offer.

At the event, the Trust will also be promoting health and wellbeing for everyone and launching the Trust’s new charity.Amanda and Laura.PNG

Laura Heaton-Sutton from NCIC will be attending on the day. She said: “I will be splitting my time between the Trust stall and the Unison LGBT+ stall. This will involve talking to LGBT+ people and their allies about the community and the impact of Covid-19, services in the area, working for NCIC as a LGBT+ person and the great things we are collaborating on for equality, diversity and inclusion. This enables everyone to come to our trust as an employee, patient, relative or visitor and know they have support and won’t face discrimination.

“The negative impact of Covid-19 on LGBT+ mental health has been astonishing. Surveys that have been carried out have emphasised the lack of services and support specifically from the LGBT+ community. Isolation is something that has been highlighted as a key area of concern as the support networks LGBT+ people rely upon have been unable to meet. There has been an increase in domestic violence and suicide rates within the community which leaves others devastated.”

The NCIC stall will focus on LGBT+ mental health and staff have sourced things to support the community. Charities such as Chasing the Stigma, and their #HubofHope, PAPYRUS and Every Life Matters have sent badges, wristbands, leaflets and posters to support. There will also be a balloon arch and lollipops.

Laura said: “We will also be launching my “Signpost to Support” card which gives links and contacts for LGBT+ Mental Health support. We are also doing a survey to get a general feel for how the LGBT+ community feels about NCIC and the services offered.

“It is really important that there is a large scale event in Cumbria as the geographical area is huge and we need to be able to support and signpost LGBT+ people across the whole patch. This event gives us the opportunity to meet with the service users and find out what we are doing well and how we can improve in the future. It is particularly important to me as it’s where I met my now wife, Amanda Sutton-Heaton.”

This year’s event, which starts at 12pm until 6pm on Saturday, is ticketed. For more information visit

The Pride flag will be flown at the Cumberland Infirmary over the weekend.