Voluntary Sector: Manchester Pride targets older gay community

Manchester Pride, one of Europe's largest gay festivals, will attempt to reach out to older members of the gay community by highlighting the range of its cultural events at this year's event.

In previous years the festival has mainly attracted young people but organisers want to increase levels of attendance by targeting a wider audience. They are also seeking to raise its profile with gay communities across the UK and abroad.

Manchester-based Impact PR will provide PR support on a pro bono basis for the festival - the largest Pride fundraiser for HIV and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender charities in the UK.

The agency plans to hold a celebrity launch party when tickets go on sale to draw attention to the event and also has a remit to stir up interest in Manchester Pride from potential sponsors.

Local actors from Coronation Street, sports stars, musicians and DJs are expected to back the festival.

'This year's event is not just for gay people, it is for anyone who has a positive attitude to gay culture,' said Impact founder and MD Paul Patton.

In an attempt to discourage homophobia in sport, the festival has also teamed up with the Football Association to host the 'Pride Games' for the first time. Teams will compete in a range of sports, including football, swimming and rugby.

Media targets include the gay press and regional media, national lifestyle pages, glossy magazines, gay radio programmes and charity press.

Manchester Pride takes place from 9-29 August.

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