Last updated:

17th August 2023

Bringing Pride to Wokingham

Celebrating Wokingham Borough’s LGBTQ+ community

Dozens of people gathered outside Wokingham Town Hall with colourful Pride flags to mark the start of Wokingham Pride

A day of celebrating Wokingham Borough’s LGBTQ+ community took place at Wokingham Pride.

The annual event, in its fourth year in 2023, saw scores of people come together for a family-friendly day out.

Many town centre shops decorate their window displays for the weekend to show their support.

Wokingham Borough Council also displayed the rainbow Pride flag for the weekend to celebrate the occasion.

The event pulled together on a shoestring budget but is provides family feel and Pride flags everywhere.

Despite the wet weather, a great day was had by all who attended.

What happened on the day

  • Attendees gathered at Wokingham Town Hall for photos with Wokingham Borough Mayor Cllr Beth Rowland
  • The group then paraded to Elms Field in Wokingham where the day’s activities took place
  • Entertainment from Greymatter, the County Chicks and Candy Rock
  • Stalls were run throughout the day by organisations from across the borough
  • An evening of entertainment for over 18s at the Station Tap in Station Road, hosted by DJ Miss Delilah and Semi-Colon
Two people wave and are draped in a pride flag for Wokingham Pride 2023

How it makes a difference

Rachel Bishop-Firth has been organising Wokingham Pride since it first started in 2020. Originally it started online during Covid-19 but moved to in person from 2021.

The event has grown from strength to strength but as it has got more popular, it has more costs. That’s where the grants make a difference.

The Community Diversity Grant funded a stage and marquee so bands could perform despite the weather.

“Having the band this year has given us the confidence to go and apply for more grants in future years so that we can put on music every year,” she said.

“We can’t thank you all enough.  Thank you for showing that Wokingham cares about being an inclusive community, and a safe and supportive place for all our residents. 

Cllr Beth Rowland raises the Pride flag on the council's Shute End office in Wokingham

Planning has already begun for next year.

Rachel added: “We would love to speak to anyone who would like to get involved and with any organization who would like to sponsor us to put up a stage again next year – please get in touch via the Wokingham LGBT+ Pride Facebook page. We will also be selling Christmas cards to raise funds.”

The event is possible thanks to grants and support from the borough’s Equality Forum, Wokingham Town Council and Wokingham Borough Council.

About Community Diversity Grants

Wokingham Pride was one of the awards in the 2022 Community Diversity Grants.

In total, £5,000 was awarded by the borough’s Equality Forum to nine organisations to provide innovative and imaginative approaches to promoting inclusion locally.

The groups awarded all work to tackle inequality and discrimination in the area.

This article is part of a series showcasing how the borough is working to celebrate diversity, tackle inequality and make a difference to parts of our community.

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