Whilst it may not come as a surprise, with the current worldwide Coronavirus pandemic, it is with great sadness thatwe are officially announcing the cancellation of Chester Pride’s main event which was due to take place on Saturday8th August 2020.
Back in February 2020 our committee set to work on our contingency plans, based on the speculation of theworldwide Covid-19 virus outbreak spread, and estimates of the disruption and loss of life as it has brought. Theseplans were established with the focus being the safety of our guests, suppliers and artists. These considerations havealways, and will always, be our priority if and we must take the hard decision to cancel our events or our involvementwith an event.
We have released several statements since March that have taken the guidance and advice of the UK Governmentand Cheshire West & Chester Council into account, and which has allowed us to plan and update our guestsappropriately. With the cancelation becoming more likely we set to work on 6 new all year round projects, whichhave always been something we have always wanted to deliver as part of our 5-year plan. These plans have nowbeen adapted, considering the current Covid-19 situation, to start on our online platforms, before moving to face toface delivery once it is safe and appropriate to do so. This has seen a restructure of the charity, with new fundingfrom our sponsors, plus grants awarded by Cheshire Community Foundation, the Steve Morgan Foundation, andCheshire West and Chester Council, to facilitate this work. All public donations and additional support from oursponsors will still go towards Chester Pride events; and bringing our main event back for 2021.
Chester Pride is fully committed to offer year-round help, advice, and support for the LGBT+ Community, and itsallies, and we continue to fight for equal rights and opportunities; along with providing social events to help fosterthe sense of support and community that is a unique part of being LGBT+. Our Just Ask campaign, for example, hasalready seen people asking for help and advice in coming out to parents during lockdown, advice on gendertransitioning, support for LGBT+ homelessness, and we are aware that issues around domestic abuse, familialrejection, substance abuse, and mental health are increasing among LGBT+ people in lockdown, and our team areready to help and support any person that needs it at this time. Details of how to contact us via Just Ask can be foundon our website and social media.
Like all charities we have seen a huge hit to our finances, especially as public support is crucial for us to provide ourmain event in August, and several large fundraisers have not been able to take place because of Covid-19. Oursupporters Rainbow Wristband was launched this year and are still available from our website at a cost of £15. 100%of the donations go towards Chester Pride’s main event, and offers benefits like priority or special event tickets, drinkdiscounts, priority viewing, and special exclusive offers. As thanks to those that have already purchased a wristband,and for those that buy one during 2020, the offers have been extended until our event in 2021 meaning you get 15months of benefits for the price of 12. Full details of the offers for the wristband, and information on how to purchaseone, can be found at our website www.chesterpride.co.uk. If you wish to donate to Chester Pride to support the mainevent, or our other projects, you can donate via the website, or social media.
We are already working on the deliverance of our 2021 event and are pleased to say our Headliner Alexandra Burkewill return in August 2021. More details on the main event and fundraisers will be released in due course. Also lookout for a digital version of Chester Pride 2020 that we hope to bring you later in the year. Our main short-term focusis to establish and deliver our 6 projects that you will be able to read about on our social media platform, pressstatements and website from this evening onwards.
We would like to end by thanking all the amazing NHS, Care staff, and key workers, for their huge efforts andsacrifices during the Covid-19 outbreak; along with thanking all of our sponsors for their help and continued supportduring what has been a hard year for us as a charity. We would like to also thank anyone who have donated, and tothose who are able to donate, our volunteer committee are fully committed to delivering our program of events andsupport to ensure the LGBT+ community feel supported, united, and represented.
KEEP ALERT – KEEP MAINTAINING A TWO METER DISTANCE – KEEP SAFE
Chester Pride are committed to bringing our annual event to Chester for 2020 and are continuing to plan for the event as normal. We are monitoring the situation with the Coronavirus pandemic as it develops, and are taking careful notice of the announcements made by the Government and local authorities.
All of our fundraisers and family fun days are currently cancelled, however we know how important they are to us and our community. We will be hosting online fundraisers and social events that everyone can get involved in. Visit our facebook page to see what we have planned. These online events are a great way to beat the lockdown boredom, but also a key way for us to fundraise for all of Chester Pride’s activities, so please consider donating using the links highlighted during the event.
We still aim to host the Chester Pride 2020 main event on Saturday August 8th, at Castle Square, however we have been working on contingency plans with the support of our suppliers, and Cheshire West and Chester Council. We will be open and honest with our plans, and keep everyone informed of anything that might change that could affect the event going ahead, but as present we are operating business as usual. With an event of our size we will be taking extra precautions to ensure that no one is put in any unnecessary risk, and we will take action to delay or cancel should we or external parties feel it necessary. We look to make a final decision about the event in early June.
We would like to thank everyone for the support we have already enjoyed from our Sponsors, and the community of Chester. Please take care of yourselves and your loved ones by washing your hands and staying at home; and remember to offer extra support to those most vulnerable to this pandemic.
Chester Pride would like to thank all the key workers, frontline NHS and care staff, and volunteers, who are working hard and going above and beyond to ensure the safety and care of the wider community.
If you need support from Chester Pride during this time, then please Just Ask via What’sApp, text, or call, via 07718066684.
The Chester Pride Team