The Berkshire and Mid Thames Group took part in Reading Pride 2023 for the first time in its history. With the help of Ned Voelker from the GOC Marketing side and Roger Sheldon, the Treasurer and advice from the Chairman Jim Cornwell, who has attended a number of Pride events in the last few months, we staged our own show! I believe it went off well and we certainly projected the GOC brand to an audience of several thousand. Not only those who watched the Parade but also all those visitors who went to the festival that followed the Parade. I hope our photos give a flavour to the event.
As it was our first time at Pride it was a bit of an experiment. As there were no banners immediately available we had one made up by a local print company and you can see how effective it was when used both as a placard on the Parade as well as its use as a flag on our stall. It will be available for other groups if planning a Pride event and need a placard/flag. It is not made of soft material but of strengthened paper and is flexible.
With any event of this kind preparation for the event and our participation in it would not be possible without the help of volunteers who manned the stall and the other volunteers who helped set it up. To them I say a very big thank you for your help. I would also like to thank Jim Cornwell, our Chairman, for his very colourful participation in both the Parade and also for the PR work he did promoting GOC to other stall holders. His finery certainly attracted attention.
Whether our participation in Reading Pride will result in new members remains to be seen. What was important was the very fact that we were present at Pride promoting GOC.
I am sure, having seen what was involved in organising our stall at Reading Pride this year, we will again participate in future years.
Simon and Vas.