Carrick leads the way on Learning Disability Pride

Members of Carrickfergus Senior Gateway Club taking part in the Learning Disability Pride Parade in Carrickfergus in 2017. INCT 22-003-PSB
Members of Carrickfergus Senior Gateway Club taking part in the Learning Disability Pride Parade in Carrickfergus in 2017. INCT 22-003-PSB
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Thousands of people are expected in Carrickfergus this Saturday for Northern Ireland’s second Learning Disability Pride (LDP) celebrations.

A day-long programme of events, organised by Carrickfergus and District Senior Gateway Club in partnership with Mencap and support organisations, will celebrate and raise awareness of learning disability.

Around 5,000 people turned up for the inaugural LDP in 2017 and this year’s promises to be even bigger.

Thomas Haighton, leader of Carrickfergus and District Senior Gateway Club, said: “We are hoping even more people will come along this year to celebrate with us.”

The organisers received an important boost ahead of the festival with the current road closure in place on Taylor’s Avenue to be temporarily lifted to allow the carnival parade, commencing 12 noon, to pass. Motorists are advised to expect delays in the vicinity of the event and to follow PSNI instructions. There will be a rolling road closure in place on Taylor’s Avenue and Marine Highway, which will not include the roundabout at Sainsbury’s/Papa Browns.

Businesses are decorating their windows in support of LDP, which has now inspired similar events in other parts of the UK. Funded and supported by the National Lottery Community Fund and Mid and East Antrim Council, the fun will run 1-5pm with family activities in the castle car park, including live entertainment hosted by Q Radio DJ Stephen Clements. In keeping with the ‘Do Your Thing’ theme, festival-goers will be encouraged to try something new.