Fife Pride: Meet the volunteers who make it happen

Fife Pride volunteers 2019. Pic: Scott A Winchester.
Fife Pride volunteers 2019. Pic: Scott A Winchester.

Volunteers sit at the very heart of Fife Pride. Their commitment and enthusiasm drive the event – and help make it a success.

Volunteers sit at the very heart of Fife Pride.

Fife Pride, in the marquee at the Town Square

Fife Pride, in the marquee at the Town Square

Their commitment and enthusiasm drive the event – and help make it a success.

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As part of the preparation for the colourful extravaganza, around 30 helpers attended an event at New Volunteer House in Kirkcaldy on Saturday.

They were briefed on their own roles and responsibilities as well as the programme of activities on the day.

As part of their training, they all took part in a Britsh Heart Foundation ‘Heartstart’ course to learn basic First Aid and CPR skills as they prepared for an anticipated 3000 people to attend.

Paul Murray, who is leading the team of volunteers, said: “We’re delighted that so many fabulous people have volunteered to help us bring Pride to Fife for the third year. It’s going to be an amazing day for everyone to enjoy.”

He explained that the volunteers basically run the event: “We have a number of teams who will be responsible for different areas on the day.

“We have a hospitality team which will be looking after the various acts, who will be performing, to make sure they are in the right place at the right time.

“We have a clean-up team which will be responsible for keeping the site tidy.

“There is also a security team which will liase directly with the official security guards we have brought in for the day – and we have a stage team which will work with the guys running the peformsance area and the PA.

“And we have a team which will be helping out in the youth zone in the Adam Smith Theatre doing Henna and a photo booth and activities like that.”

Paul’s own role is to float around the whole site , making sure everything goes to plan.

Paul, who teaches at Kirkcaldy High and also leads the school’s LGBT group, has been volunteering at Fife Pride for the past two years.

He continued: “We are anticipating another big year.

“It is a really lovely Pride because it is such a compact event and there is so much of a community feel in Kirkcaldy and Fife in general.

“Edinburgh Pride is great but it’s such a big city.

“Here, everyone sort of knows everyone else. There is a fantastic community feel to the place.

“Nowhere was that more evident that in Kirkcaldy High Street where you can see the shops which have a Pride display and are really getting into the spirit of it, I am so pleased to see that.”

Paul, who lives in Aberdour, said Fife Pride is about friendship and a celebration of diversity.

“It is a celebration that you are okay to be who you are, and that, for me, is where it begins and it ends.

“That is why I am so pleased that people who aren’t necessarily members of the LGBT community are coming along.

“It is a celebration of diversity and being who you are. A day of positive celebration for everyone.”

Also volunteering at this weekend’s event will be Nathan Gill.

He has has been a member of the Fife Pride board since it began three years ago.

The volunteer youth worker explained just why it means so much to him.

“Growing up in a household that was not always the easiest or most accepting, I didn’t really feel able to take part, and join in with any LGBT+ events, until I was older.

“But, I’m glad I took that step.

“Since then, I’ve met so many fab friends, been given so many amazing opportunities, and found my passion.

“I feel confident to stand up, loud and proud, and be myself.

“Fife Pride has been a huge part in my personal growth.

“Just a few years ago, Scottish Prides were only held in the bigger cities, which as a young person, were pretty inaccessible.

“Growing up trans, and queer, in a small town, I knew how unreachable the city prides can be, for youth especially.

“I could not pass up the chance to be a part of bringing Pride to Fife.”

Nathan, who lives in Cupar, continued: “LGBT+ individuals don’t just live in cities.

“We also live in the towns, and tiny villages, which I feel are not always represented, and we can often be forgotten.

“Before our first event in 2017, I was saddened to meet so many older individuals in Edinburgh, who had actually moved away from the Kingdom, decades ago, due to feeling unsafe.

“ I hope that we’re showing, to these individuals, and to others, that times are changing, and that there’s many locals who support us in who we are – especially, when homophobia and transphobia is still rife, in many places. It’s extremely important to show and celebrate our diversity, and pride, close to home.”

Nathan, who is a joint volunteer co-ordinator at this year’s event working closely with Paul, said: “I am so excited for Fife Pride 2019, and we’re hoping that this year is going to be bigger and better!

“I will be helping support our team of fabulous volunteers, and I will be around the town square all day, keeping the area clean and tidy, and helping make sure everything runs smoothly for everyone. I’ll be enjoying all the colours, and smiles.”

He added: “I’m very grateful to work within an amazing team of individuals, and proud to have and be, a part of bringing pride to Fife.”