A HUGE celebration of the LGBT community is set to return to the streets of Oxford next summer.

Organisers are set to meet next week to discuss plans for the city's long-awaited annual Pride event.

After the disappointment of not having a parade this summer, plans are already well underway to make 2021 the biggest and best yet, and ideas will be brainstormed during a Zoom call on Tuesday, which will begin at 7pm.

The newly-elected chair of the Oxford Pride Group Zayna Ratty revealed organisers are aiming for a celebration in late May or even early June.

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However, she said this still might change amid fears of a second Covid-19 wave.

Ms Ratty added: "What we can promise is we will be working closely with authorities, sponsors, community supporters and venues to ensure that even if it is a programme of smaller events, or a full day as seen previously in Oxford, we show care about every aspect of our community.

"Whatever form Oxford Pride may be delivered in next year, we will be here for our community."

This year's event was set to be held across the city centre on May 30, however, due to lockdown restrictions it was converted into a primarily-virtual setting.

But Ms Ratty pointed out that planning an online Pride was 'just as stressful'.


She added: "When I was voted in as chair, there was no indication that my first Pride would have to be cancelled.

"We did not want our community to miss out on the event altogether, so we began to look at alternative methods of reaching out and that is how Oxford Pride Online was launched.

"It was just as stressful as putting on the in-person event and our engagement figures were over 20,000 with a virtual series of events.

"We were also extremely pleased that our committee lip sync video of 'Reach' was also featured on Global Pride."

While many people were disappointed when in-person parades across the country were cancelled or postponed, the Oxford organisation ensured that it checks up on its members.

Explaining the importance of staying in contact the chair said: "Isolation, concealment and discrimination are key causes of distress.


"During this time Oxford Pride have endeavoured to keep in touch through our virtual festival and pride day, as a presence to keep our community socially connected although physically distanced."

Residents passionate to see the joyous parade happen next year can apply to help.

The Oxford Pride Group published a lengthy list of roles on its website last week that is looking to fill as soon as possible.

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Some of these include a communications officer, fundraising and sponsorship, non-executive director, treasurer and a secretary.

The group is also always on the lookout for dedicated volunteers to assist on the day of the event.

For an extensive list of roles and more information on Oxford Pride 2021 visit www.oxfordpride.uk

Members of the public who wish to share their suggestions can email secretary@oxfordpride.uk