4 August 2016

Brighton Pride – the Buddies are back!

Volunteer ‘Pride Buddies’ in bright pink T-shirts are once again working with staff from Brighton & Hove City Council’s youth service to help young people stay safe and have fun at this year’s Brighton Pride festival.

The ‘Buddies’ are volunteers from across the council’s children’s services team as well as from other agencies.

On the reverse of their T-shirts is a plug for ru-ok – the city’s substance misuse service for young people – who will also be on duty for the festival.

The Buddies will be walking round throughout the festival offering support and advice to young people where needed.

The teams will be based in and around the council’s youth service bus in Preston Park. Everyone involved has been DBS checked.

Water and suncream will be available at the bus. The teams will also be working closely with St John Ambulance to help young people who become ill or injured.

For Pride Buddy Alex Cooter it’s second time around as she also volunteered last year. She said: “I am so proud to be involved in the Buddies scheme again. Last year, we helped keep safe dozens of young people who were in a sorry state.

“In many cases this was due to alcohol, so this year one of our key messages is that Pride is about diversity, not drunk and disorderly. We hope that this year’s event will be all about celebration, not wasting a great day by getting wasted.”

The deputy chair of the council’s Children, Young People and Skills committee, Councillor Daniel Chapman, said: “The Buddies scheme started last year and had fantastic feedback from young people for the kindness and compassion they offered young people who needed assistance.

“Our youth service does a great job supporting young people in the city and it’s great that the Buddies team will once again be helping them at one of the city’s biggest and best events.”

Comments from young people last year about the Pride Buddies scheme included:

  • “Thank God you are here”
  • “What would I have done without you?”; and
  • “You are like the best parents”.

​​Pictured from left are: Sue Feighery, Luci Hammond, Kate Lackenby, Debbie Garrett, Sofia Arnell, Maya Rawal, Alex Cooter (showing off the flip side of the Buddy T-shirt!) and Kim Wells. Photo by Peter Tierney.