By Ben Brosnan, Digital Marketing Manager

Hi I’m Ben and I’m the Co-Chair of Respect, Co-op’s LGBT+ network.

As we move into summer and look forward to spending time in the sunshine with friends (weather permitting), what better way to do so than at year’s Pride events?

LGBT+ Pride events show a positive stance against discrimination and violence towards lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender (LGBT+) people. They promote self-affirmation and equal rights, increase visibility for LGBT+ communities and celebrate diversity and gender identities.

Co-op have been supporting Pride events up and down the UK for over 10 years, and they’re getting bigger and better each year. I’m excited to say that this year we’re attending 10 events across the country!

We’ve more than 500 colleagues walking with us, and many more showing their support using #PrideinCoop on social media. And it’s not just colleagues that are getting involved, our stores and funeral homes will be getting special Pride makeovers too.

Sign up to march with Co-op in Pride

We kicked off our Pride season in Birmingham at the end of May, but there’s still plenty more opportunities for colleagues to get involved. So take a look at where we’ll be and sign up here.

Don’t miss the fun! Sign up as soon as possible to avoid disappointment, and remember to use an email address that you can be contacted on by your local Pride lead.

Why do we support Pride?

LGBT+ rights have come a long way, but being openly LGBT+ can still be really hard.

Supporting Pride, as well as making our polices, processes, products and services as inclusive as they can be, shows LGBT+ colleagues that they can be themselves and build a career here. One of the reasons I joined Co-op was because I’d seen them at Pride and knew they had an active LGBT+ network, which reassured me that it’d be a place where I could be happy.

Join Respect

Our support for LGBT+ people is largely driven by our volunteer LGBT+ colleague network, Respect. Anyone is welcome to join, whether they identify as LGBT+, or not. If you’re interested in finding out more, drop us an email.

Host an event

The Diversity and Inclusion team and Respect have pulled together a Pride 2019 Inclusion Toolkit Final. This is for all colleagues who want to understand how they can support Pride in their business areas. It includes ideas if you’re planning to run your own event, as well as top tips for colleagues that want to be a good ally.