The Social Group started as The Peterborough LGBT & Friends Social Group.
The group was formed after James Whitmore and Jon Scarffe were working on the Peterborough LGBT network panel (now defunct) and realised after hearing the voices of the community around them that a safe space was needed for people to meet and socialise.
The two founding organisers James Whitmore and Jon Scarffe were closely joined by a female lead Lotte Kolind and John Middleditch (RIP).
The first event took place in the Argo Lounge, Bridge Street on 16th April 2015. Our debut was not without its mistakes. We had arrived to find we had been assigned a downstairs space by the venue when some of the first attendees were not able to do stairs! We quickly learned our lessons. Within a few weeks we had amassed over 100 members.
Some later early highlights would bring us out to Leicester to join in the Pride festivities, marching with our banner and also a trip to Cambridge where we were ably assisted by our Punter John Middleditch.
After a while people move on and our volunteers may change. John Middleditch also moved on but since has sadly passed away. I will fondly remember the time we spent with John and he will always be remembered in this group.
When creating media for the Social Group we realised that the name was a bit long and didn’t really fit very well on business cards! After a few discussions with members it was decided we would change our name to Inclusive Peterborough – making sure it would always be joined by the descriptor to show we were an LGBTQIA+ Social Group.
Vicky Brett came to the social group in 2017 looking to find a mutual group of people to find friendship and support after having experienced Transphobic behaviours in church since the coming out of their son who is transgender. With Vicky’s determination to help and support others they quickly became a valuable part of the group bringing the assistance of Pappa Bear her husband Keith.
Vicky now also runs Inclusive Church and both Vicky and Keith are part of Embrace Events helping to bring the LGBTQIA+ community some regular safe events and venues to attend.
Ross Turner came along as a member in some of our earliest events and has become also an active volunteer, ensuring we have our regular coffee morning and breakfast meets. These are very important as they form the basis of the network and often are the best place for new members to come to first. Ross also organises our Quiz event that has become quite popular.
Ashleigh has also become a valuable organiser, being able to help with games and cinema nights; games nights are a very welcome calendar event each time and show off some of our members and organisers competitive streaks!
The social group was originally started on Meetup.com a platform that was not without a monthly subscription. With over 700+ members on the meetup.com platform we were visible. However, this came with the need to continuously raise funds and in the 2019 year we decided we had to let the meetup.com platform go. This left us with the facebook group. We continue to look for options on this today and as the UK government often have to say these days “nothing is off the table” so we may even look at this in our future options.
During Pride 2019 we ran a major event with our volunteers and showed what we could do with a stage show extravaganza called the Carnival of Love.
Since being able to support Peterborough Pride by providing volunteers 2022 saw Vicky and James join the Peterborough Pride Committee. We felt that we needed to be able to help ensure that Pride maintained its inclusivity and felt important that it remained something which felt like it belonged with the community, rather than just become something commercial that is done to the community. We also bring our family of members to enable the Pride committee to gain volunteers.
As a group of volunteers we aim to continue Inclusive Peterborough and its important mission to ensure LGBTQIA + individuals have a safe space, feel supported and can make friends in this city. Come and join us..
Head over to the Events page for details of our upcoming Events.
Click here for Events
Volunteers are required to:
- Host Events
- Set-up and Set-down for an Event
- Help on a Pride Stall
- Social Media/Website Content
- Suggesting new events
Head over to our Support Pages