Community Spotlight - Proud 2 b Parents
Here at Manchester Pride we want to celebrate the amazing individuals, groups and organisations that support our vibrant LGBTQ+ communities. To do this we will have a regular spotlight, highlighting a particular group or individual, the great work they do and most importantly - how you can get involved!
Manchester Pride is one of the UK's leading LGBTQ+ charities. Our vision is a world where LGBTQ+ people are free to live and love without prejudice. We are committed to improving the lives of LGBTQ+ people in Greater Manchester and beyond. We are part of a global Pride movement that celebrates advancements in equality and challenges discrimination faced by LGBTQ+ people. These Community Spotlight’s will help to connect us all and build a stronger LGBTQ+ Community in Manchester and beyond.
In this week’s Community Spotlight, we caught up with Matt, who is the Managing Director of Proud 2 b Parents. Proud 2 b Parents
is an organisation run by and for LGBT+ parents/ carers to be, LGBT+ parents/ carers and their children across Greater Manchester and surrounding area, regardless of their route to parenthood.Please tell us a little bit about Proud 2 b Parents and what your organisation does.Proud 2 b Parents is an inclusive organisation for all routes to parenthood. We have been delivering services for over 14 years and have a wealth of experience in regards to the community needs and experiences they have faced.Our key aim is to not only to reduce the feeling of isolation many LGBT+ parent/ carer led families experience, we also need to address the lack visibility and awareness of LGBT+ families whilst being the voice and championing the different perspectives of the community, ensuring we support the necessary change.We run a variety of services to meet the needs of the community, these include 'Parent to be chats, mid-week meet ups for those families who are off in the week either on maternity, adoption, surrogacy or paternity leave or those whose children don’t attend formal settings, monthly get-togethers, Parent Support Sessions covering a variety of topics to help parents tackle various issues, a youth group for young people aged 8+ who have LGBT+ parents/carers, as well as a variety of other engagement activities. We also produce training and guides to support either families and/or professionals understanding and awareness of the LGBT+ parent/carer community.Has the pandemic, and subsequent restrictions, affected the work you do?Through the pandemic we were successful in receiving some uplift funding to develop our services and continue engaging with the community. We were able to develop weekly digital activities, digital fun days, and festivals/ events as well as school holiday boredom busting family packs to keep the children entertained and engaged. This funding allowed us to meet the needs of the community and work towards reducing the feeling of isolation the community can too often feel. With the pandemic our service saw an increase in demand, which we were fortunate enough to be able to support and develop referral pathways. A member from our community said that: ‘Without proud parents me and my family would have been completely lost in the lockdown, it has provided unique services and has allowed us, with a very young child, to feel normal and connect with other families in LGBTQ community.”How can people get involved with this brilliant work?
The community can contact us by email firstname.lastname@example.org to join our monthly newsletter or head over to our socials and request to join our closed facebook group Proud 2 b parents social. If you want to join our board of directors please feel free to drop us an email too! People can find out more from our website www.proud2bparents.co.uk our socials @proud2bparents or by getting in touch email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you! What should people be keeping an eye out from Proud 2 b Parents?We would like the community to keep an eye out for our ‘Parent To Be’ chats. These chats are an opportunity for the LGBT+ community to find out about the various routes to parenthood available to them and ask any questions they may have, as well meeting others similar to them. These sessions have run previously, but we are moving into a digital format to engage with more people and have the flexibility to fit around other commitments and geographical areas.Proud 2 b Parents can often be found at the Manchester Pride Festival, can you share a favourite memory?One of our favourite memories is winning the walking entry in 2018. We really enjoy being part of the big weekend and the support from the crowds watching the parade is amazing for our families. It shows our children, regardless of the lack representation in media or society, on a day in August they can walk through the streets of Manchester and have thousands of people cheering for them, just because of who they are and the family they have. For those older children this has such a positive effect on their mental health and well-being. It really shows the importance of grassroots and community organisations being part of the parade.WEBSITE