Saturday 20th July was a legendarily windy day with our immediate neighbours on one side getting first aid treatment for being hit on the head by a flying banner, and our neighbours on the other side clinging onto their gazebo for dear life to prevent it taking off into the skies! But our magnificent chillout area, created by our young people at Eastbourne youth clubs by spray-painting patterns and positive messages over an old flysheet from a large family tent, stood firm and strong in the gales. It was also enhanced by scatter cushions, ornaments and fairy lights to give it a laid-back feel, and create a space where young people could chat in private about issues that concerned them with our skilled WiSE worker, Aoife Tobin. Aoife also created a fantastic learning resource about sexting and other online sexual exploitation – her survey was completed by a steady stream of young people eager to share their experiences on this important issue.
Eastbourne Pride was a joyous, happy occasion and very much a family event. It was wonderful to see young people from both of Eastbourne’s LGBTQ+ groups, one of which we jointly manage with East Sussex Targeted Youth Support (TYS) and the other of which we support through providing free use of our building, marching happily at the front of the parade. Huge thanks are due to all the YMCA staff and volunteers who made this event possible.
You can see more pictures from the event on our Facebook page @YMCAEastbourne. Roll on next year!