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  • Emer Druce

Building Bridges: LGBTQ+ and Local Traders

Inclusivity and diversity are at the heart of New Forest Pride, and one of the ways we promote these values is through our collaboration with local traders. Our Annual Pride event in Bath Road Park, Lymington, is a vibrant and bustling market scene, where people from all walks of life come together to celebrate and support the LGBTQ+ community. The image above captures the spirit of inclusivity and diversity that we strive to create at our Pride event. The colorful stalls set up by local traders offer a wide range of products and services, creating a lively and welcoming atmosphere. This image showcases the strong bond between the LGBTQ+ community and local businesses, highlighting the importance of collaboration and mutual support. Collaborating with local traders is not only beneficial for our Pride event, but it also helps to build bridges between the LGBTQ+ community and the wider community in the New Forest area. By working together, we can foster understanding, acceptance, and unity, creating a space where everyone feels valued and included. Here are some examples of how our collaboration with local traders helps to build bridges: 1. Economic Support: By supporting local traders, we contribute to the local economy and help businesses thrive. This, in turn, strengthens the community as a whole and fosters a sense of unity. 2. Visibility and Representation: Having local traders participate in our Pride event provides visibility and representation for the LGBTQ+ community. It sends a powerful message that local businesses are inclusive and welcoming to all. 3. Education and Awareness: Our collaboration with local traders allows us to educate the wider community about LGBTQ+ issues and promote awareness. Through conversations and interactions at the event, we can challenge stereotypes and misconceptions, fostering a more inclusive and accepting community. 4. Networking and Connections: Collaborating with local traders opens up opportunities for networking and connections. It allows us to build relationships with businesses and individuals who may become allies and advocates for the LGBTQ+ community beyond the Pride event. Tips for Building Bridges: 1. Reach out to local businesses: Approach local businesses and invite them to participate in your Pride event. Highlight the benefits of collaboration and how it can help promote inclusivity and diversity in the community. 2. Offer incentives: Provide incentives for local traders to participate, such as discounted booth fees or promotional opportunities. This can encourage more businesses to get involved and show their support. 3. Create a welcoming environment: Ensure that your Pride event is inclusive and welcoming to all. Provide clear guidelines and expectations for vendors to ensure that they create a safe and accepting space for attendees. 4. Foster ongoing relationships: Building bridges is not just about the Pride event itself. Maintain relationships with local traders throughout the year by supporting their businesses and promoting their services. This will help to strengthen the bond between the LGBTQ+ community and local businesses. In conclusion, our collaboration with local traders plays a crucial role in building bridges between the LGBTQ+ community and the wider community in the New Forest area. By working together, we can create a more inclusive and accepting society, where everyone feels valued and included. Let's continue to celebrate diversity, promote equality, and build bridges that will last beyond our Annual Pride event.

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