Pride Action North, a leading LGBTQIA+ non-profit in Northumberland, made contributions to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association British Islands and Mediterranean Region (CPA BIMR) Election Assessment Mission for the 2024 UK General Election. The mission’s focused on several constituencies across the UK, including the North Northumberland constituency, following boundary review changes. Pride Action North representatives provided insights into the barriers faced by LGBTQIA+ people in exercising their democratic rights to voting during elections.

Pride Action North are a key stakeholder in our region and raised key issues such as accessibility challenges, a lack of awareness about voting options, barriers to voting and the restrictions voter ID place on members of our communities. Stakeholder engagement is crucial for shaping the recommendations of the CPA BIMR mission, ensuring future elections are inclusive and accessible which particularly affect those that disproportionately affect minority groups.


About CPA UK

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK (CPA UK) is a registered charity promoting parliamentary democracy throughout the Commonwealth. Acting as the secretariat for CPA BIMR, it organises training programmes, shares best practices, and conducts election observation missions to enhance democratic processes. For more details on their work and the 2024 election assessment mission, visit the CPA UK’s official website. You can read the mission’s initial findings at uk-eam-preliminary-statement-final.pdf (uk-cpa.org).

📷 [L-R Angela Brudenell- Charity Manager, Darren Irvine-Duffy- Board Member, Hilary Jeune – States of Jersey Independent Observer, Stephen Corpe- Board Member]

Pride Action North made a vibrant and engaging contribution to this year’s Ashington Community Fair Day, organised by Ashington Town Council. The highly successful event took place on Sunday, July 7th, 2024, from 11 AM to 4 PM in Peoples Park, and was a day full of family-friendly fun and community spirit.

Pride Action North was a key contributor to the day, adding a lively and inclusive dimension to the day. Our Youth Zone was a highlight, offering a range of activities designed to entertain, engage, and inspire young people.

Our team provided interactive spaces with dedicated staff ensuring a safe and fun environment for everyone including a Disco Dome and Giant Inflatable Games. Crafty hands made mini zine’s and colourful badges providing a creative outlet for participants promoting hands-on learning.

The day saw our team gaining lots of feedback about what young people want to see locally, understanding what they’d like from the 2nd Pride Picnic in Ashington and kicking off our our ‘Echo’s of…’ project. This project invites attendees to reflect on the unique aspects of growing up in South East Northumberland and how being part of this community shapes identity and experiences. Insights gathered will contribute to a broader project series, capturing the essence of life in South East Northumberland.

Pride Action North’s mini consultation will understand what young people want from youth work in South East Northumberland, ensuring that future projects and events are aligned with their needs and aspirations. We will continue to gather input on what attendees would like to see in partnership with local stakeholders including Town and Parish Councils.

Our team will be at Gallagher Park Live this weekend on 13th July 2024, come along and celebrate our local community’s diversity, creativity, and energy, making South East Northumberland events an unforgettable experience for all.

Pride Action North were proud to contribute to this event as a result of funding received from the Northumberland Inclusive Economy Community Partnership (NIECP) where Northumberland County Council is the Lead Accountable Body for the funding. Our project, Roaming Roots is funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund with the North East Combined Authority as the Lead Authority.

Find out more about what is going on in Ashington at Ashington Town Council‘s website.

Ashington Town Council has awarded Pride Action North a £2,000 grant to establish a vital weekly support group for the LGBTQIA+ community in Ashington, Northumberland. Our project addresses the significant mental health and well-being challenges faced by LGBTQIA+ people locally.

Pride Action North, the only LGBTQIA+-focused charity in the area, aims to provide a safe, welcoming space for individuals to feel empowered and accepted. The weekly support group will serve as a cornerstone for fostering community and belonging.

This grant is part of Ashington Town Council’s annual funding initiative, which allocated £66,000 this year to support a range of leading local projects. Council Leader Cllr John Tully emphasised the importance of helping organisations that make Ashington a thriving community.

Residents can follow the Council’s social media for updates on the impact of these grants. For more information, visit Ashington Town Council.

Pride Action North has been awarded £55,000 from the Northumberland Inclusive Economy Community Partnership (NIECP) where Northumberland County Council is the Lead Accountable Body for the funding. This project is funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund with the North East Combined Authority as the Lead Authority.

The fund is a substantial fund dedicated to supporting the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector in South East Northumberland which is part of a broader £1.5 million initiative aimed at fostering inclusive economic growth and community well-being in South East Northumberland.

The revenue grant awarded will be used to launch Roaming Roots, an innovative community project designed to engage young people across various community settings to address social and economic disparities. The project is strategically targeted towards diverse wards, particularly those with limited provisions and inadequate public transport.

Roaming Roots serves as an adaptable catalyst for youth work, primarily operating on a detached basis to ensure flexibility and responsiveness to community needs. At the heart of this project is a strong emphasis on collaboration with local stakeholders, aiming to tackle critical issues such as anti-social behaviour, mental health challenges, well-being concerns, and social isolation.

Darren Irvine-Duffy, Chair of Pride Action North said, “We’re proud to be facilitating and leading such a dynamic and inclusive project for young people in South East Northumberland wards. In areas that lack permanent provision, this project offers a dynamic solution to some of the most pressing social and economic challenges in our region”

One of the key components of Roaming Roots is our commitment to sustainability. The project will use data gathering techniques to understand and address the needs of beneficiaries and stakeholders. This data-driven approach will help consolidate outreach efforts into four main hubs, minimising environmental impact and contributing to broader climate sustainability goals.

The project is also focused on enhancing community resilience and pride through volunteering and upskilling opportunities. By empowering local youth and community members, Roaming Roots aims to create lasting positive impacts on overall well-being, fostering a sense of community cohesion and support.

Angela Brudenell, Charity Manager at Pride Action North, added, “This funding allows us to make a significant impact in the communities we serve. By focusing on collaboration and sustainability, Roaming Roots will not only address immediate needs but also contribute to long-term positive change.”

To find out more about Pride Action’s North  project email support@prideactionnorth.org.uk.

Find out more about the funding at  https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/Economy-Regeneration/Programmes/Pathways-to-Work/Northumberland-Inclusive-Economy-Community-Partner.aspx or contact Northumberland County Council’s VCS Employability and Communities Lead at adam.gray@northumberland.gov.uk

In times of crisis, it takes remarkable people to sow seeds of hope amidst deep uncertainty. Such is the case with the recent efforts of Pride Action North, and former TYA youth workers Sarah and Becky, all dedicated to empowering LGBTQIA+ young people, and who supported a heartwarming reunion for a group of young people who previously attended a youth group operated by Trinity Youth Association (TYA).

When TYA faced closure, it left a void in the lives of many young people who relied on its services for guidance, companionship, and a sense of belonging for many years. During this instability, there was a fear that the connections formed within TYA’s groups would fade.

Enter Pride Action North.

Pride Action North took the reins, determined to ensure that these young people had an ongoing opportunity to come together, reminisce, and celebrate the bonds they had forged. With the invaluable support of our team, Sarah and Becky and the East Bedlington Community Centre, we orchestrated a celebration session.

But the story doesn’t end there.

Recognising the ongoing need for support among those affected by TYA’s closure, Pride Action North extends a lifeline to these children and young people. Through our one-to-one support services and access to inclusive groups, we offer comprehensive support system for LGBTQIA+ young people who need it.

For those grappling with the aftermath of TYA’s closure, Pride Action North isn’t just an organisation; it’s a lifeline—a sanctuary where we find understanding, acceptance, and the support young people’s need to navigate their lives.

At Pride Action North, we use the power of community and the boundless capacity for kindness that resides within us all. In a world often marred by division and discord, Pride Action North stands as a shining example of what can be achieved when we come together, united in our commitment to lift each other up.

To those LGBTQIA+ young people and their families impacted by TYA’s closure, know this: You are not alone. In Pride Action North, you can find not just an organisation, but a family—a family of dedicated professionals ready to support you with your journey toward empowerment.

For more information on how Pride Action North can support you or someone you know, visit www.prideactionnorth.org.uk. Together, we can turn moments of adversity into opportunities for growth, solidarity, and love.

Together: We Are Stronger.

As Pride Action North takes a bold step forward in its commitment to becoming the leading champion for the LGBTQIA+ community across the North, the charity is opening it’s first office in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, a strategic move aligned with our three-year plan spanning 2024 to 2027. The new office, on Forth Lane, is central to the city and only a few minutes from Newcastle’s Central Station.

Angela Brudenell, Charity Manager said

“The decision to establish a physical presence in Newcastle-upon-Tyne is not a random choice but an extension of our strategic vision. Informed by our analysis during our strategic review, we recognised the need to enhance organisational capacity and geographical reach. This new office serves as a hub, positioned to address unique challenges faced by LGBTQIA+ people across Tyne and Wear.

Incorporating inclusivity as a central theme in our strategic plan, this addition reflects our commitment to reducing rural/urban equity gaps, providing access to specialist support, and creating a more inclusive environment where ever you are. We are refocusing resources to ensure that LGBTQIA+ people across our communities find the support they need.

As we celebrate the opening of our new office, we celebrate not only physical expansion but also the embodiment of positive change. Pride Action North is steadfast in its commitment to creating a holistic and inclusive community. This strategic move is a testament to our dedication to fulfilling our mission and values and will see the charity host a physical presence in Ashington and Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Are you passionate about making a difference in the lives of LGBTQIA+ people?

Pride Action North (PAN) invites you to be a part of our exciting journey as we continue supporting and championing our communities across the North of England. Working at PAN is not just a job; it’s an opportunity to contribute to a holistic and inclusive community where everyone can thrive.

“At the heart of Pride Action North, we find a community-driven spirit that fuels our commitment to empower lives and champion inclusivity. Working here is not just a job; it’s a shared journey towards creating a space where everyone can thrive. – Angela Brudenell, Charity Manager, Pride Action North

Our Mission and Values: A Guiding Force

At PAN, our mission is clear:

“to create a holistic and inclusive community where everyone can thrive. We are committed to raising awareness through education and collaboration, empowering individuals to achieve their full potential.”

These values—Acceptance, Advocate, and Working Together—shape our organisational culture and guide our actions.

PAN’s recently unveiled Three-Year Strategic Plan (2024–2027) is a roadmap for our future, designed to strengthen our position as a leading champion for the LGBTQIA+ community.

As a PAN team member, your work will directly contribute to the strategic priorities outlined in the plan, which include organisational capacity strengthening, enhanced inclusivity, robust partnerships, LGBTQIA+ empowerment, effective communication, and vibrant engagement.

Why Work at Pride Action North?

Mental Health and Wellbeing Worker Role: A Vital Position

As we expand our services to meet the evolving needs of the LGBTQIA+ community, we are actively seeking a Mental Health and Wellbeing Worker. This role is pivotal in supporting LGBTQIA+ children and young people, contributing to the objectives outlined in our strategic plan. The Mental Health and Wellbeing Worker will be responsible for developing, delivering, and supporting various mental health and wellbeing support groups and interventions, ensuring that they receive the necessary support.

“Being a Trustee at Pride Action North is not just about governance; it’s about crafting a narrative of acceptance, advocacy, and unity. Together, we shape a future where everyone, regardless of their identity, finds solace, support, and strength within our vibrant LGBTQIA+ community.” – Erica Rothwell, Trustee, Pride Action North

How to Apply: Join the Pride Action North Team

If you are passionate about mental health, LGBTQIA+ issues, and making a positive impact, we invite you to apply for the Mental Health and Wellbeing Worker role at Pride Action North. Visit www.prideactionnorth.org.uk/careers to find out more.

If you’re interested in other roles with PAN, keep an eye on our career’s page in 2024, as we plan to recruit into other roles.

In a bold move towards a more inclusive future, Pride Action North (PAN) is proud to unveil its transformative three-year strategy, spanning from 2024 to 2027. This strategic roadmap marks a pivotal moment in PAN’s evolution, aiming to solidify its position as the foremost champion for the LGBTQIA+ community in the North of England.

Darren Irvine-Duffy, Chair of Pride Action North said:

“Our journey, started in 2017, has been a testament to the power of conversation and collective voices. From hosting pride to becoming a comprehensive support system for LGBTQIA+ people, PAN has undergone a significant transformation. The three-year strategy is the culmination of a reflective process, and a commitment to addressing emerging community challenges through a clear Theory of Change.”

Our new strategy

PAN’s new strategy seamlessly integrates a fresh brand identity and an expanded suite of services, reflecting our commitment to growth, inclusivity, and empowerment. As we look ahead, eight strategic priorities have been identified to guide us on our mission.

A cornerstone of our strategy is the commitment to refocus power and resources, addressing the unique needs of both rural and urban LGBTQIA+ communities. By doing so, we aim to create a more equitable and accessible support system for everyone.

PAN’s mission, “to create a holistic and inclusive community where everyone can thrive,” is supported by three core values: Acceptance, Advocate, and Working Together. These values guide our actions, ensuring a non-judgmental space, advocacy for equitable rights, and collaborative efforts to make a positive impact.

To effectively respond to the challenges faced by LGBTQIA+ people, PAN has developed a Theory of Change. This blueprint outlines how we will address issues such as isolation, access to support, and more. It serves to steer PAN towards meaningful and impactful interventions.

Looking Ahead

As PAN embarks on this exciting journey outlined in our three-year strategy, we invite our stakeholders, supporters, and the LGBTQIA+ community to join hands in shaping a future where Pride Action North stands as a strong, trusted, and indispensable ally.

Angela Brudenell, Charity Manager at Pride Action North said:

“This strategy is not just a roadmap; it’s a commitment to staying true to our mission, values, and the evolving needs of our diverse and vibrant community.”

The future of PAN is promising, and this strategy sets the course for an impactful and prosperous road ahead. You can download and read our new strategy here. If you need this document in a different format, please contact us here.

TOGETHER: WE ARE STRONGER

A NEW major fundraising event celebrating the progress of LGBTQIA+ communities and a charity’s own remarkable development has been launched.

Pride Action North (PAN) is hosting the inaugural Progression Ball and Awards ceremony on February 2, 2024 to mark the beginning of LGBT+ History Month in recognition of the work being carried out by organisations and individuals to make the North East a more inclusive, diverse and accepting place for all.

The event, to be held at the Grand Hotel Gosforth Park, will include a night of entertainment, a three course meal, an exhibition of Gilbert Baker Foundation’s and ReportOUT’s Flag in the Map Project, an auction, raffle and games, and inspirational stories from a range of LGBTQIA+ people.

In addition, there will be an awards ceremony rewarding the efforts of people across the region in promoting and supporting local communities.

The evening will also be a celebration of the transformation PAN has undergone as a charity too. Earlier this year, the organisation was rebranded from
Northumberland Pride to encapsulate the wide range of support services it now provides across the whole of the North East.

To add to the fun, attendees are asked to come dressed in one – or all – of the colours of the Progression flag – the more colourful, the better.

Darren Irvine-Duffy, the charity’s chair, said: “All associated with Pride Action North are extremely excited to be able to launch the inaugural Progression Ball and Awards to celebrate the amazing achievements of LGBTQIA+ people and entire communities.

“PAN itself has been on an incredible journey and 2023 has been a milestone year which resulted in a major rebrand and new website being created, and the
organisation goes from strength to strength by being able to offer a wider range of support and advocacy to more people across a larger geographical area.

“The fact that we are able to stage something as major as the Progression Ball shows just how far we have come as a charity, and we’re going all out to make sure the event is something which forever stays in the memory of all involved.

“This is the perfect opportunity to further unite LGBTQIA+ communities and, to use PAN’s motto, show that ‘together we are stronger’.”

Nominations are now open for the awards in the following categories:

Darren said: “We know first hand of the amazing work which is carried out to support LGBTQIA+ communities across the North East and we look forward to sharing these inspirational tales to a wider audience, and showing a shared appreciation to the people going above and beyond to make sure people feel accepted for exactly who they are.”

The Progression Ball and Awards, to be held on Friday, February 2, is sponsored by Newcastle Building Society, and Ability Consultants, with further sponsorship from Square One Law, NE Youth, Margaret Rose Events, Fluid Bookkeeping, 32West, ReportOUT and Silk Route Spirits.

Chris Keay, Chief Risk Officer and Executive Sponsor of the LGBTQ+ Network at Newcastle Building Society, said: “At Newcastle Building Society supporting inclusivity isn’t just a ‘nice to do’: working proactively to tackle barriers in the workplace is core to how we operate, especially when it comes to attracting the next generation of talent.

“We’re committed to being an inclusive organisation, both as a place to work through our colleague-led inclusive networks, and in our approach to local communities through involvement in this year’s Northern Pride March and support of Newcastle Frontrunners LGBT 5K Race. That’s why it’s a pleasure to help Pride Action North deliver its first awards ceremony, celebrating the achievements of some of the region’s most inspirational LGBTQ+ people.”

Julie Clark, from Ability Consultants, said: “At Ability Consultants, we firmly believe in the power of diversity and inclusion. We are excited to align ourselves with an event that shares our values and works tirelessly to create a more equitable world for all.

“We are honoured to be part of this event and stand alongside the LGBTQIA+ community in their journey towards equality and acceptance. We believe that by working together, we can build a future where diversity is celebrated and all individuals are valued for who they are.”

To book your tickets for the Progression Ball and Awards and to nominate somebody for an award, visit: www.prideactionnorth.org.uk/awards.

WE are delighted to launch a new project which will reduce the number of young LGBTQIA+ people’s mental health reaching ‘crisis point’.

Pride Action North has been successful in its bid of £168,340 from the National Lottery Community Fund to launch a project providing vital support to people aged between 11 and 25 who are LGBTQIA+ and are struggling with their mental health and wellbeing.

We have introduced the project, entitled Supporting LGBTQIA+ Young People to Thrive In and Out of Education, as our link workers often work with young people who have already reached ‘crisis point’ because of a lack of specialist support across the region.

As part of the funding, a new role of education coordinator at the charity will be created to work closely with schools, colleges and universities across the North to create inclusive environments that encourage acceptance, support and understanding for LGBTQIA+ communities.

It will also allow our workers to collaborate with education professionals, provide training and resources, and facilitate referrals to community-based services so young people can receive the right level of support and opportunities.

The Lottery funding will also result in the creation of a further link worker position at the charity to ensure that extra support is available to young people once they are referred to us.

Our chair Darren Irvine-Duffy said: “When young people are referred to Pride Action North, sadly it is all too often that they are already at crisis point because there is a sorely missing link between community-based support and education.

“What this new Lottery-funded project focuses on is early intervention to help identify issues within young LGBTQIA+ people and make sure they have access to the best support and advocacy available to prevent their personal circumstances worsening.

“It will be key to work closer with professionals and upskill their workforce so young people are able to receive improved levels of support within education, while also ensuring increased access to other community-based services for support while out of an education setting.

“The new project will improve mental health and wellbeing, and reduce feelings of isolation and social insecurity by fostering a sense of belonging and empowerment for LGbTQIA+ children and young people so they feel happier as a result of positive intervention.”

It is estimated that more than 900 young people across the North East will benefit from this new project over the three-year lifespan of the funding.

The project will be rolled out in Northumberland in the first year before being extended into Tyne & Wear over the following two years.

On completion of the project, it is hoped that PAN will be able to continue the additional work offering a valuable support service to the region’s young people.

Our charity manager Angela Brudenell said: “This project will have a far-reaching impact on people who don’t know where to turn for help, or feel that there is nobody out there to call on.

“Improving the lives of LGBTQIA+ communities is fundamental to everything we do at Pride Action North, and we are delighted to have been supported by the National Lottery to carry out such vital work for the young people in our area.”

The National Lottery Community Fund awards grants to strengthen society and improve lives across the UK. Thanks to National Lottery players, it will distribute at least £4 billion by 2030, supporting activities that create resilient communities that are more inclusive and environmentally sustainable.

Duncan Nicholson, Head of Funding for North East & Cumbria at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “Thanks to National Lottery players and the hard work and dedication of Pride Action North, this project will play a pivotal role in improving the mental health and wellbeing of young people from LGBTQIA+ communities.

“The award fits with The National Lottery Community Fund’s four key missions, which are to support communities to come together, be environmentally sustainable, help children and young people thrive and enable people to live healthier lives.

“We’re delighted that our grants are being used to support great projects that strengthen communities and improve lives in our region.”