Castle turns purple for disability pride

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Carrick Castle turned purple recently to highlight

Northern Ireland’s first Learning Disability Pride carnival parade, on May 27.

More than 1,000 people with a learning disability from across Northern Ireland are set to join the carnival parade through Carrick to the main event, hosted by DJ Pete Snodden at Carrick Castle.

Learning Disability Pride is organised by the Carrickfergus Senior Gateway Club and is the idea of the Gateway Club Leader, Thomas Haighton.

Thomas said: “There are 33,000 people with a learning disability in Northern Ireland and we decided to organise an event to bring them together and to show pride in who they are and what they do.

“We want to raise awareness about what learning disability is, and how it does not have to stop someone achieving their full potential.”

“Having the privilege of working in the Hawthorns Adult Centre for the past 14 years and as club leader atCarrickfergus and District Senior Gateway Club, I am immensely proud that both organisations can work in partnership and can together fly the flag for learning disability.

“The Northern Trust’s support will help to ensure the day runs as smoothly as possible.”

The event starts with a carnival parade at noon from Carrickfergus Health Centre, at Taylor’s Avenue to Carrickfergus Castle Car Park, where the fun day begins with music, entertainment, petting zoo, bouncy castle, market and food stalls, arts and crafts and information and resources to support and help people with a learning disability and their families.

Elizabeth Crozier, a member of the Carrickfergus Senior Gateway Club, said: “We are really looking forward to Learning Disability Pride. I t will be a great day out for people with a learning disability and their friends and family. Everyone is welcome, so just come along and you will have a great time. I can’t wait.”