As well as staging an annual LGBTQ+ festival, our purpose is to promote equality and diversity for the public benefit and in particular the elimination of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity. Including in particular but not exclusively by raising awareness, engaging with the community, celebrating the diversity of LGBTQ+ communities and advancing education.
People have attended Pride since 2008
Raised over the years to help keep Pride a FREE event
attended Swindon & Wiltshire Pride throughout the day
LARGEST LGBTQ+ event in Wiltshire
Refreshing Rainbow Walk
The Rainbow Walk was created in 2018 and was a project collaboration between the Swindon and Wiltshire Pride committee and local businesses, who kindly donated the painting supplies.
Our committee members and some incredible volunteers helped to clean up Rainbow Walk back in April. They spent time sweeping and cleaning the steps and repainting the rainbow to bring back the brightness.
Paint me a rainbow
We wanted to share this amazing project by Beechcroft Infants School.
We are so proud that a piece of art such as the Rainbow walk can be used to get across such an important message of acceptance.
"Our Art Week theme is 'Paint me a rainbow' - children have researched artists and local artworks, including the Rainbow Walk. Children have enjoyed exploring Swindon's outdoor artwork in our Art Hunt challenge. Several children chose the Rainbow Walk as their favourite piece of artwork in the town. "It's bright and colourful, like a real rainbow!" "It's just so super colourful."
We discussed the message behind Rainbow Walk, and the children understood this. Year Two children could tell me that "It's been painted to make sure everyone knows you belong, it doesn't matter if you feel different to your friends because you're special too." "It's a message to show we are all welcome and important, like the different colours in the rainbow because everyone might have a different favourite."
It's been lovely to link their learning and children have now designed and created their rainbow artwork, from 'bubble painting' to each painting a brick on one class's outdoor wall to show we all belong in this school."
The photos are the resulting ‘rainbow wall’ the class chose to complete as their rainbow art project. Children were allowed to take inspiration from any of the artwork they researched, and the class chose to do their version of a rainbow walk on their outdoor learning area wall - a brick each, to show they all belong and are equally important.
Thames water drain cover
A specially designed drain cover has been unveiled by Thames Water in Swindon to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community.
The cover, located on Wood Street, has been painted in the rainbow colours which are symbolic of the LGBTQ+ movement along with black and brown to represent LGBTQ+ people from black and Asian backgrounds. The location of the drain cover was chosen as it's along the route of the Swindon & Wiltshire Pride parade.
The unique design also includes LGBTQ+ symbols along with the logos of Thames Water and the cover manufacturers, Wrekin Products, and the slogan “Every rainbow needs a little water to shine”. The words, chosen by Thames Water employees, link to the company’s core purpose of water management and express how communities shine and thrive because of the diversity within them.
Swindon & Wiltshire pride 2021
Swindon and Wiltshire Pride 2021 was a smash! We came back better than ever to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community in Swindon and Wiltshire. We couldn't have a pride parade, but we celebrate regardless. We had 10,000 people visit the event throughout the day and gave out over 8,000 of our pride guides on the day.
We are excited to help make pride more accessible with our Mobiloo toilet and the BSL interpreters on both of our stages. We hope to continue this in future pride events and make pride inclusive for all.
This year we introduced the family zone, the wellbeing zone and the youth zone to pride. These new additions were a big hit! We hope to expand these zones and have more local charities at pride next year.
None of this would have been possible without our volunteers. Thank you to all the brilliant volunteers who helped out and gave over 350 hours to help support the event.
Press: ITV, Swindon Advertiser
Attending Local Prides
In 2021, we have attended local Pride events including, Reading Pride, Salisbury Pride and Pride in Gloucestershire.
It's important to us that we support local Pride events. Here, we educate on LGBTQ+ services available and engage with the community as well as fundraise for Swindon & Wiltshire Pride.
Across all 3 events, over 300 people visited our stalls, purchased pride items, and picked up LGBTQ+ information.
We also bring along our giant rainbow deck chair. It's a great way for visitors to capture their pride moments and share memories.
TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Award
The Rainbow Walk is a TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Award Winner!! The Rainbow Walk is now in the top 10% of attractions worldwide!
Back in 2018, we put together a proposal to the Swindon Borough Council to install The Rainbow Walk and the proposal was accepted. Many hours went into preparing the stairs, sourcing the materials for free and installing the piece. The scheme was completed with donations from local branches of B&Q, Wickes, Homebase and Valspar paint who all donated materials for the project as well as a local business, Newjax, who pressure washed the steps.
The stairs represent Swindon's continuing commitment to equality, diversity and inclusivity for the LGBTQ+ community.
Thank you to all of those who donated materials and their time to install the piece as well as the volunteers who have helped maintain Rainbow walk over the years.
The Rainbow Bench project
In May 2021, we launched a vibrant new campaign, with the help of inSwindon BID Company, aimed at combatting loneliness and encouraging the people of Wiltshire to open up.
The Rainbow Bench Project comes with the addition of a plaque that reads, "Sit here if you don't mind someone stopping to say hello".
“The Rainbow Bench Project is a place to catch up with a friend, start a conversation and help prevent loneliness. We don't talk to each other enough, so let's make time to stop and say hello, have a chat and make a new friend.”
Pride pop-up shop tour
For Pride Month, we took our Pride pop-up shop on tour. We teamed up for the first time with our two local Wiltshire prides, Salisbury Pride and Trowbridge pride.
The tour visited 3 different places across 3 weekends. We started off in Swindon, made our way to Salisbury and then finished the tour in Trowbridge.
Over 1,500 people visited us. They shared stories, chatted with us and picked up pride gifts, as well as taking away LGBTQ+ information. All of this while celebrating Pride Month with us.
It was a pleasure to work alongside other volunteers from Salisbury Pride & Trowbridge Pride. We loved teaming up with them and can't wait to do it again!
LGBTQ+ support is all year-round
On the 1st of July, we led the Pride 365 campaign.
We changed our logo to black and white along with the other pride organisations to raise awareness of year-round LGBTQIA+ support, not just for pride month.
We all released a statement asking companies to think about what else they could do in the other 11 months of the year to support the LGBTQIA+ community. (LGBTQIA+ support is all year round). Check out the Our original post here.
Over 30 Pride organisations took part, including the UK Pride organisers network, London Pride and Pride Cymru to name a few. What started as a solo campaign quickly spread.
BBC Radio Wiltshire
On October 31st 2020, we launched our LGBTQ+ pop-up space once again. The space aimed to support the LGBTQ+ community and provide a pride hub to bring the community together.
The Pop-up shop isn't just a shop, but a place that provided so much more:
Provides a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community
A chance to meet the Pride committee
An opportunity to purchase Pride gifts that also raise much-needed funds for Swindon & Wiltshire Pride.
Pick up LGBTQ+ information in our improved LGBTQ+ Info Zone
Free Sanitary products
Since the start of 2021, we have been raising funds for Prospect Hospice.
We recently lost one of our dear friends from within the community and we wanted to show our appreciation for the loving care that was provided by Prospect Hospice.
Your donations to Prospect Hospice mean that they can make a difference to thousands of people who need their services, even during a global pandemic.
We have been hosting online shows with a range of singers and bands to entertain the community. Through the online shows, we have raised a fantastic £300 for Prospect Hospice.
Over Easter weekend we organised a fun and free easter trail. We encouraged families to take part, enjoy the outside as well a chance of winning a prize as well.
We scattered posters throughout Swindon's central park (GWR park), each with a letter on. Families were encouraged to find all 11 letters to work out the Easter phrase and enter the competition to win an Easter prize.
GWR park is visited by 1000s of people a year.
During lockdown, we tried to keep supporting our community.
We raised £345 for Swindon Food Collective, as well as raising awareness of donating food at the drop off points. We did this by hosting online shows on our Facebook page.
We made and gave out 500 facemasks for free to support the community.
We opened an LGBTQ+ pop-up shop for seven days. Providing support, information and a place to buy Pride merchandise.
361 people visited us over that week, with many of them leaving their houses for the first time since lockdown.
Over the last 12 months, we have raised over £5,000 through our fundraisers, helping us put on our annual Pride event and help keep Pride free.
With the loss of Swindon's permanent LGBTQ+
venues, it's been more important than ever to hold our monthly fundraisers. These are an important opportunity for us to bring the community together and provide them with a safe space to be themselves.
LGBT History Month
On 1st February 2020, we raised a Pride flag to celebrate LGBT History Month. We work closely with InSwindon who manage Swindon Town Centre. They raised our Pride flag for the entire month of February in celebration of LGBT history month.
We also hosted our second Pride Pop Up Shop to celebrate the month. We celebrated the story of Swindon & Wiltshire Pride with our local newspaper. We lit up a roundabout in rainbow colours and used our social media channels to educate and celebrate LGBT History Month.
It's important to promote Pride at local LGBTQ+ events and be visible and educate at non LGBTQ+ events.
In 2019 we attended Swindon's Festival of Christmas, Pride in Gloucestershire, Swindon Old Town Festival, Great Western Hospital, and Armed Forces Day.
We use these events to promote Pride, educate on LGBTQ+ services, and engage with all of the community.
The UK now has 45 million social media users, equating to 67% of the population.
That's why we are active across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with a total of over 15k followers.
We use our channels to engage, educate, celebrate and promote events and services.
Pride Pop Up Space
In December 2019 we set up our first Pride Pop Up Shop, to provide a space for LGBTQ+ members of the community that was easily accessible and visible.
The Swindon & Wiltshire Pride committee has volunteered over 120 hours in setting up and running 2 weekends of the Pride Pop Up Shop.
This space has been used for raising money for Pride, Drag Queen Story Hour, LGBTQ+ information, Out Of The Can youth group and a Police surgery to report hate crime.
Volunteers are an extremely important part of helping make Pride happen.
In 2019 over 90 Volunteers helped make Pride happen. Helping us set up the event, litter pick, stewarding and marshaling vehicles safely into the park.
After Pride 2019 we held a BBQ for our volunteers as a big THANK YOU for all their hard work.
On December 1st 2019 we hosted a fundraiser in aid of World Aids Day.
We managed to raise £355 in one evening with all proceeds going to The Terrance Higgins Trust.
In 2018 we unveiled our secret project,
Rainbow Walk was installed by the committee of 2018 and friends. It represents Swindon's continuing commitment to equality, diversity and inclusivity for the LGBTQ+ community.
The scheme was completed with donations from local branches of B&Q, Wicks and Homebase who all donated materials for the project as well as local business, Newjax, who pressure washed the steps.