This spring we will be fundraising for Pedal People and The Ledward Centre Brighton Please donate what you can to mark our 30th anniversary and Queenie’s 60th birthday. All donations will be shared between Pedal People and The Ledward Centre. All the amazing DJs playing at Patterns on Sunday 30th April 2023 for our 30/60 party are doing so for the love so we can donate all DJ fees to this anniversary fundraiser. We thank them for their kindness and we thank you for your support.
So why Pedal People and The Ledward Centre?
Arriving in Brighton back in the day we both were welcomed by two important souls. Hearts of our community, changing, creating and delivering love, James Ledward and Freddie Bateman have made us feel that the most important of things in this city of ours, they made us welcome.
Before social media or even the internet Freddie’s Scene 22 was the first port of call for any young queer soul rocking up wide-eyed and hopeful on Brighton’s shores. His cafe/shop /community hub Scene 22 on St James Street delivered every piece of information you could need about LGBTQI+ Brighton life via leaflets in every shape and size you could imagine. Helplines, support groups, club flyers, safer sex information, lubrication, love. Eyes were opened, blushes made, and lives changed. Thanks to a man with a mission to make queer Brighton better for everyone.
Fast forward over thirty years and Brighton’s Pedal People have made Freddie’s life better – their support ensured he and his husband Adam could get their lives back on track after Freddie’s suffered a paralysing stroke in 2021. Pedal People made it possible for Freddie to be finally out and about again in the city, he has been such a fundamental part of making a home for so many of us. Independent yet supported, the wind in his hair, the cheek back in his cheeks. Pedal People offer highly subsidised/low-cost / no-cost cycle rides and wind-in-hair well-being for elders and anyone living with disability or health challenges. They train carers and volunteers to pilot rides, enabling important connections with participants and access to the seafront and green spaces throughout our city.
The late James Ledward was another soul responsible for creating the city we proudly call home. Forever leading the way as a campaigner, editor and social commentator, James always had your back, his advice, charm, gossip, dinner company, work as founder and editor of Gscene Magazine and never-ending support, forever fundamental in the person you would become. Whatever or whomever that would be. Without him, our Brighton Supports Russia LGBTQ+ placard campaign with Karol Michalec would never have the funding to become part of the Brighton Pride Community Parade. Without him the Brighton Pride we marched with would have become a very different event, its accountability and future success assured thanks to James’ early campaigning. His loss after a short illness in 2019 robbed the city of an LGBTQI+ champion and us of a friend we will always cherish. We never knew when we would bump into this giant of our scene but each time you did your day was forever better, filled with smiles and stories (oh those stories) to last till your next meet. We shall always miss him.
The Ledward Centre Brighton’s LGBTQ Community Centre has quickly become the brick-and-mortar version of the man – something for everyone, every soul supported, mentored, provided for, a much-needed safe space as vibrant as those shirts of his. Whether young and lost, older and hopeful, uncertain or curious, The Ledward Centre, just like James would, ensures Brighton opens its arms to you, welcoming whoever you need to be.
Supporting Freddie and James for our 30/60 celebrations is our way of saying thank you to two queer dears who helped make our life together in Brighton so very, very fabulous. A queer and a queen saluting two Brighton queens. Just as it should be.
To donate what you can please click here – every penny will make a difference to lives across Brighton & Hove and make us two old queer dears very happy. We thank you.
Photo credit Nick Ford Photography / Adam Betteridge / Pedal People / Gscene Magazine