Two Welsh charities unite for the first time ever ahead of Wales’ largest celebration of equality and diversity. Cardiff Deaf Centre and Pride Cymru have come together to meet the needs of the deaf and hard of hearing community in Wales during the annual Big Weekend (23-25 August).
Working together again, the two charities will collaborate fully, making Deaf Pride Wales a part of Pride Cymru’s Big Weekend, which is celebrating it’s 20th year.
As a charity Cardiff Deaf Centre is undergoing a large development programme that sees the charity looking to raise £750,000 to redevelop the home of the charity on Newport Road, Cardiff.
Over the years, Pride Cymru has made ‘accessibility for all’ their mission, bringing its annual Pride closer to those with accessibility needs. Wales’ biggest LGBT+ charity has collaborated closely with several charities in the past, making British Sign Language Interpreters during stage performances and special accessibility platforms to the main stage the norm. Last year Pride Cymru’s Big Weekend received the Gold Accreditation from Attitude Is Everything, making it only one of two Pride events in the UK that holds this prestigious accreditation.
With their new partnership with Cardiff Deaf Centre, the LGBTQ+ charity hopes to continuously improve their event and meet the needs of the Deaf Community. Cardiff Deaf Centre will be actively involved throughout the event and have a designated Deaf Pride Wales area.
In the area, visitors can see Deaf Performers and enjoy a variety of other activities, which will be delivered in British Sign Language. Visitors also have the opportunity to learn British Sign Language across the festival weekend.
Dafydd Eveleigh, Chair of Trustees at Cardiff Deaf Centre said: “Thanks to funding from the Big Lottery Fund we are able to bring a Deaf Pride Wales to Cardiff at Pride Cymru’s Big Weekend in August. We are thrilled to showcase some of Welsh Deaf talent and look forward to raising awareness of Deaf Language, Deaf Culture and Deaf Arts.
“The Deaf Arts Festival held at the Wales Millennium Centre in March allowed many young people to experience elements of Deaf Arts & Culture for the first time. It was a transformative experience for the young people more than what people would realise, by the end of the day the significant improvement in self-confidence for all that attended was a joy to see and reflect upon and that’s the power of engagement with the Arts!!
“Pride Cymru’s event has grown significantly over the years, so to present ourselves and our community at this diverse platform is incredible. We hope that by introducing BSL interpreters and showcasing Deaf Culture and Deaf Performers, visitors can actively become a part of our charity and understand the richness of the Deaf Community .Ultimately, we’d like Deaf Pride Wales to become an annual event alongside the Deaf Arts Festival, which we are planning again for 2020”
Pride Cymru’s Accessibility Manager, Helen Rankin said: “As a charity, whose foundation is based on equality, we continue to fight the barriers our communities face and this means making our Pride Cymru Big Weekend accessible for all. Although we’ve achieved the gold status from Attitude Is Everything, this is not the time to stop. We look forward to working with Cardiff Deaf Centre and bringing a programme of Deaf Performers to the event. We hope it will raise awareness of the incredible work of Cardiff Deaf Centre and their plans to create a hub of Deaf Arts & Deaf Culture, alongside the development plans for the centre at 163 Newport Rd. We see this year as a great start to strengthening our partnership.”