21 June 2016

5 Reasons Why You Should Volunteer for Pride in London

It's four days 'til Pride in London and although I would always recommend you register to volunteer as soon as possible, there is still time to pick a role if you decide between now and Saturday.  Pride in London is one of the biggest days in the city's calendar, and it takes a whole lot of help to make it possible.  So why should you help out?  Well it's my fifth year volunteering for Pride, so here are five reasons why:

1. This year it feels really important

With recent events, especially those in Orlando, it seems more important then ever to bring the community together and support love.  We will combat hate and fear with fun and openness.

2. You get the best view

Chances are if you register between now and Saturday you'll be given the role of parade steward.  This means you get to stand along the parade, helping the public with gates and information etc.  This means you get the best view of the parade, as you will be right along side it.  No one stood in front of you, no jostling for space.  You'll see it all!

3. You will make some amazing friends!

I've done Pride for over five years now, and I've never come away without making great friends.  Everyone is there for the same reason, and even though there's a lot of people at Pride, you get put into small groups and rely on each other a lot, so friendships form fast!
My first year volunteering in 2011

4. You get to be on some of London's most famous streets when it's closed to the public.

Standing in the middle of a street that's usually one of the busiest in the world before the parade starts is always one of my favourite parts.

5. You will increase your chance of getting a bigger role next year

If you come and love it (which you will) you will have the chance opened up to you for loads more roles next year.  There are so many roles you could do something different every time, this year I've had a promotion to Parade Section Supervisor.  Basically I have my own section of the parade, along with 1000's of people, to look after.  It's a lot of responsibility but it's also an incredible experience.

If possible sign up now and you can attend the last training session on Thursday but even if you can't do this there will be a condensed training session on the day.  Can't do Saturday?  You can still volunteer for Pride Picnic on Sunday, or sign up ready for next year!  Pride is your oyster, get involved!  Want to see more, check out my post on London Pride 2014.

I dedicate the post to Jason, one of the greatest senior stewards I will ever work with, gone too soon.

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