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Import: NEWS: A Letter to Manchester Pride – Why are you giving less money to Gay Charities?

By Creativity, JournalismNo Comments

(Image Credit: NightFall404 @ Flickr)

James Stevens was a regular attender of Manchester Pride’s Big Weekend. He describes himself as a ‘proud Mancunion,’ as well as ‘proud to be part of the gay community’ and states that he donates to local gay charities and support groups every year.

But he recently wrote a letter to Manchester Pride expressing his concern and anger at less money being raised and given away to gay charities. His letter, which he also shared on Facebook states: ‘Every year, without fail, I have heard the amount raised for local charities decrease until this year when it stood at £52,000.’


Manchester Pride

John Stewart, Chief Executive of Manchester Pride stated that there were a number of ‘inaccuracies’ in Stevens’ letter.

He stated that the money raised for gay charities was ‘£52,000 in 2012, £105,000 in 2011, £115,000 in 2010, £135,000 in 2009 and £105,000 in 2008.’

Stewart added that ‘The greatest amount disbursed by Manchester Pride (and, indeed ever disbursed since August Bank Holiday fundraising in the Gay village was established) is £135,000 in 2009.’

Manchester Pride’s figures showed a significant drop in the amount raised for gay charities of £53,000 from 2011 to 2012.


(Image Credit: Man Alive! @ Flickr.)

In Stevens’ letter he asks about the reasons for the falling amount raised and given to gay charities:
‘I have heard many excuses for this decreasing donation: the “payment” of big acts who would otherwise not have attended, to pay for security, insurance and all sorts… I say this is nonsense… I dread to think what it would cost those attendees should these sponsors drop out. Are their own donations falling? Is this the reason you see fit to cut your own donations by so large an amount?’

Stewart from Manchester Pride said that the expenses of organising and running the Big Weekend event was partly the cause for the drop in donations to gay charities. He said:
‘Major festivals do not organise themselves, nor does the cost of providing entertainment on 3 stages, security etc pay for itself. We have to cover the costs of hosting what remains the UK’s leading Pride event.

The amount raised for charity is almost entirely dependent on level of tickets sales, as costs have to be covered. Once costs have been met, the entire surplus is then donated to charity.

Hence a 10% drop in ticket sales does not lead to a 10% drop in the charity amount, but a much larger percentage drop, as an effect of this gearing.’

Stewart also blamed austerity for falling income from Sponsors and festival attenders, stating:
‘Clearly, with austerity biting, people have less money to spend, as do sponsors, and Manchester Pride is not immune from the effects of this.

Clearly, we would like to raise a substantial amount for charity every year, but have to recognise that, in a challenging economic climate, attending a four day event is a considerable commitment for our patrons.’

Stewart stated that of the money raised 25% goes to the Lesbian & Gay Foundation (LGF) for the free condom and lube scheme that sees free condoms and lube distributed to venues across Greater Manchester. He stated that 25% goes to the George House Trust (GHT) for the support of their HIV welfare fund, that gives grants to people living with HIV to pay for essential items such as clothing and bedding, or top help pay bills. He said that the other 50% was distributed to LGBT and HIV community groups and organisations across Greater Manchester through a funding application system.

Stewart stated that the decision to give 25% to the LGF and 25% to the GHT taken many years ago, and reflects the origins of Pride in Operation Fundraiser. He said that the decision was looked at again by the Trustees last year, and agreed to continue the split for another 3 years.

Stevens’ signs off his letter by writing: ‘I am extremely disheartened to say that I can no longer, in all good conscience, support Manchester Pride in light of what I have witnessed happen over the past few years.’ You can read James Stevens’ full letter here.

It should be noted that in Stevens’ letter he mentions about Manchester Pride loosing it’s charity status. Stewart in response to this stated that: ‘Manchester Pride has NEVER lost it’s charity accreditation.’

Published by: The Gay UK on Tuesday 24th September 2013.

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The Annual Christmas Card Letter

By Friends & FamilyNo Comments

Every year I write a letter to go inside of the Christmas cards of those friends I don’t have the opportunity to see often. This year, I’ve tweaked it slightly for my readers, so here it is:

Get in touch, contact me

Wednesday 24th November 2010

Dear Reader,
I hope this Christmas card finds you well. In my life this year, the themes seem to have been adventure and learning. My adventure started in February, a cold snap drove me in search of a beach holiday. I decided to head off to sunny Benidorm. I had a great week and while I was there I met a guy named Boyfriend-W. We got together, and traveled backwards and forwards to visit each other. Boyfriend-W asked me to move to Benidorm and live with him. I was lucky enough to get six months unpaid leave at work to try living out there.

The good days were some of the best of my life. However equally the bad days were some of the worst of my life. I learnt so much from my time in Benidorm with Boyfriend-W, but unfortunately things didn’t work out. I returned home and returned to work early. When most people have an emotional crises they turn to alcohol or drugs, but me I turned to shopping! I bought a new car and an entire new wardrobe. I got an enormous amount of support from my family and friends, for which I am eternally grateful.

At Manchester Pride in the end of August, I managed to hold up the whole parade. I rather dramatically started having a diabetic hypo fit just as the parade started. Like everything, I try and see the positive which in this case was the rather dishy paramedics. (I didn’t manage to get their numbers in case you’re wondering.) I also have a butch scare.

In September I moved back in to my apartment, which I had rented out after about a month of bed hopping (Not like that! How rude!). I got myself a housemate as well. He lives in the master bedroom and is wonderful, I’ve adopted him and he already feels like part of the family.

This September I’ve continued on my elearning to upgrade my Nursing Diploma to Degree. I have completed a module entitled ‘Promoting and Influencing Health’ and I managed to get a 1st grade, so that’s my target now to get all my other modules at a 1st grade. I’m currently undertaking a ‘Leadership’ module and my ‘Dissertation’ module. I will have one more to complete January – March, and then I’ll have my degree!

Currently I just got an Iphone4 (my baby) and am dating a guy. He makes me very happy and I hope to be writing about our time together in next years letter.

Well that’s pretty much all the significant events of my year. I hope you get time to write back. My love,


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Dear Father Christmas…

By ShoppingNo Comments

I am sooo excited about Yule (see Pagan Festivals) this year. I will get to celebrate it with Simon and Chrys, my good friends like last year (see Yule & A Lifetime Gift). I also celebrate Christmas (because the family and majority of my friends do, plus I like love gifts).

In addition to this it’s my first in the new apartment (see The Move), so I’m going to get the biggest, campest christmas tree I can afford! But I thought I’d better let Father Christmas what I want like you used to as a child, addressing the letter to the North Pole. So here goes:

Dear Father Christmas,

This year I’ve been a good boy. I have tried hard at work and tried to help those who need it. Plus I have tried to be more adult-like and responsible by buying apartment (I know you have a super computer system that can find me, so I don’t need to give you my address, mum told me). I am concerned that this place (as far as I’m aware) doesn’t have a chimney. So I have let security know and they said they will let you in.

So now on to the important issue of what I would like this year. Here’s my list (I’ve split it in to Books and DVD’s to make it easier for the elfs to find):

Jo Brand, Look Back in Hunger
John Barrowman, Anything Goes: The Autobiography
Justin Lee Colins, Good Times! (with free T-shirt)
Ant & Dec, Ooh! What a Lovely Pair: Our Story
Cecelia Ahern, The Gift
Cecelia Ahern, The Book of Tomorrow
Sophie Kinsella, Twenties Girl
Various Authors, Pagan Visions for a Sustainable Future
Edian McCoy, Astral Projection for Beginners
Various Authors, Spellcaster: Seven Ways to Effective Magic
Cassandra Eason, Magic Spells for a Happy Life (Essential Series)
Cassandra Eason, Cassandra Eason’s Modern Book of Dream Interpretation

Bill Bailey – Tinselworm [DVD] [2008]
Jo Brand – Barely Live [2003] [DVD]
The Vicar of Dibley – The Ultimate Collection [DVD]
Confessions of a Shopaholic [DVD] [2009]
The Next Best Thing [DVD] [2000]
Charlie & The Chocolate Factory (2 Disc Deluxe Edition) [DVD] [2005]
An Evening With John Barrowman [DVD] [2009]
Robbie Williams – Live At The Albert [DVD] [2001]
Kylie Live ‘X’ 2008 [DVD]
Celine Dion – Live In Las Vegas – A New Day [DVD] [2007]
Torchwood: Complete BBC Series 1 Box Set [2006] [DVD]
Torchwood: Complete BBC Series 2 Box Set (2008) [DVD] [2007]
The Colour Of Magic (2-disc edition) [DVD] [2008]

That’s my list. Oh just to add one more thing, right at the top of my list please A joyfilled, happy christmas for all of my family and friends. Hope that’s not too much of a tall order for the 1st November?

My love to the elfs and raindeers and of course Mrs Christmas, hope they are all keeping well,

Antony x x x

Post pictures of the tree when I’ve bought it, decorated and put it up.

Loving the anticipation of Christmas,


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Royal Snail

By RantsNo Comments

I think Royal Mail are slow at times. That’s probably because I’m from the instant generation. If I want something, I want it now. Not in a week.

But it’s bloody annoying when Royal Mail workers decide to strike (as reported in the Telegrapgh) when I’m expecting some important letters.

Now I understand workers are concerned about working conditions and if indeed they will have a job, but couldn’t they have waiting until next week? After my most important mail has arrived.

I hope my mail arrives in time for what I need it for.

Rant Over,

Antony x

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