Pride In Hull has revealed a new appointment to its board of trustees to serve a two-year period in support of the continued growth of the pride event in the city.
Stefan Harsley, who is the group finance manager for leading Hull business The 55 Group, will join the board to focus on expanding the work the charitable organisation is doing to support the local LGBT+ community. Having played an active role in the community, as well as volunteering for the Samaritans, Stefan plans to build on the momentum Pride In Hull has been building, and focus on increasing equality, diversity and inclusion.
With a YouGov report released in 2022 revealing that more than half (52%) of Britons within the LGBT+ community experienced or were diagnosed with a mental health condition such as anxiety, depression and insomnia, Stefan is also passionate about putting a focus on mental health support within the LGBT+ community.
Speaking about his appointment and what he hopes to achieve, Stefan said: “There has definitely been significant improvement in acceptance levels of the LGBT+ community since I was growing up, with many are now able to wear their identity as a badge of honour.
“However, people still face complexities within their personal journeys that can impact their mental health. Whether it’s societal pressures, fear of not being accepted for who you are, misunderstanding of identity or the constant ‘coming out’ some people have to do in their everyday lives, it’s these pressures that can have a real impact on people’s wellbeing – something I’m incredibly keen to work on furthering the support for.
“With that in mind, it demonstrates the important role the LGBT+ community holds for many people – it creates a safe, respecting chosen family for all. The growth in Pride events in Hull, also showcase how important these events are for the LGBT+ population too.
“Pride is a hugely important event for so many, where people can discover and express how they feel and who they are without judgement. I feel privileged to be appointed into a position where I can work with the Pride in Hull team to provide a safe and welcoming environment at a time where, sadly, not everyone in the community feels able to be so in their everyday lives.”
Pride in Hull will be celebrating its 22nd event on Saturday 29 July, with a revised parade route due to ongoing works, with the main event area being Zebedee’s Yard in the city centre. Stefan’s employer, The 55 Group is supporting him in his role as part of its coordinated aim to increase acceptance and equality wherever possible.
The 55 Group is the parent organisation of leading construction and tech business, Pagabo, Sypro, Loop and Tequ, in 2021 and has previous involvement in the charity sector.
To find out more about Pride in Hull, including more information on how to volunteer at this year’s event in roles such as women’s advocates, parade volunteers and family assistants, please visit https://prideinhull.co.uk/volunteer
For more information about The 55 Group and its brands, please visit www.the55group.co.uk