A pop-up shop that celebrates sexuality and gender diversity is returning to The Brunel shopping centre in Swindon next month.
Swindon & Wiltshire Pride will open their doors on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 April. This will be the third time that Pride have had a temporary shop at The Brunel and the local charity decided to make another return visit following the extremely positive feedback they received previously.
Phoenix Stewart, the charity’s community engagement manager, said: “We knew there was a need for a facility like this and we’ve been proved right. The shop has given us an opportunity to reach a great range of people and their families and has helped us spread the word that it’s okay to be LGBTQ+.
“Some people use the shop as a place to meet and socialise with like-minded people and others are seeking information and guidance. We’ve had younger members of the community who haven't come out yet come and chat to us about their sexuality, and a parent and her trans daughter come out in public for the first time identifying as a female. It is really rewarding for us to see that the facility of the shop, and the information we provide, really does help people to feel more comfortable with who they are.
“We’re only able to do this though because of the tremendous support of The Brunel Shopping centre. We are very grateful to the team. Nothing is too much trouble for them and it’s great to see how they do so much to support local good causes. The previous pop-up shops were so well-received, and we had so many nice comments about the visibility of Pride that we just have to keep on doing this.”
The shop will be open between 9am and 5pm on Saturday and 10am and 4pm Sunday and will be situated next to Buzz gym. Staffed by volunteers from Pride the shop will sell a range of Pride merchandise, such as lanyards, mugs, sponges and badges and there will be LGBTQ+ information, details on events they are holding throughout the year and fun activities.
For more information about Swindon & Wiltshire Pride see the charity’s website: www.swindonwiltshirepride.co.uk