Matt at Pride.jpgRainbows, glitter, music and fun costumes marked Pride at Carlisle Castle on Saturday as the event made a comeback after the Coronavirus pandemic.

Hundreds of people waved multi-coloured Pride flags to show their support to the county’s LGBT+ community.

This year was the 12th year of Pride, which promotes equality, diversity and aims to be a strong voice for Cumbria’s LGBT+ community.

Staff from NCIC, including LGBT staff network co-chairs Laura Heaton-Sutton and Matt Phillips, were on hand to give out sexual health advice.Pride2.jpg

Laura launched her Signpost to Support cards which give links and contacts for LGBT+ Mental Health support. She also carried out a survey about how the LGBT+ community feels about NCIC and the services we offer.

She said: “It was a great day and we had lots of feedback from the survey. The majority of my mental health cards went out too.

“It is really important that there is a large scale Pride 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 wife, Amanda Sutton-Heaton.”

Tracy Alderson, health care assistant at Solway Clinic in Carlisle, said: “Our Cumbria Sexual health stall was very well attended with people of all ages interested in our free condoms and pens.

“People were interested in a  range of things from sexually transmitted infections, testing, prep, contraception and our new online booking system which is now available for certain appointments.

"Overall, it was a good day and beneficial to the LGBT community."

The Trust’s charity was also represented at the event.