Drag queens bring Hastings Pride to care home’s back garden

Hastings drag queen, Paris Grande, brought the town’s ‘Pride’ to a care home’s back garden in a celebration of diversity and inclusion.

Paris, together with Kikiara George and Nicole Grande from the Hastings Queer Collective, brought a rainbow of colour, dancing and singing to residents at Hastings Court Care Home on The Ridge. Lifestyles Manager, Kimberley Mann, said the residents loved the entertainment.

“Everybody had a wonderful time, it was such a positive event,” she said. “We brought up the idea of bringing the Hastings Collective into Hastings Court in our League of Residents meeting. LGBTQI+ issues aren’t something older people are necessarily too familiar with but everyone really wanted to open the doors to the group and learn more.

The Collective performs for residents.

“We have a number of staff who are members of the LGBTQI+ community and we have had residents too, and we felt it was really important to show that everyone is welcome here.” 

Hastings Court is a purpose-built home offering person-centred residential, nursing, memory and respite care for up to 80 people. 

Pam Rennie, 73, has lived there for two months and said the ‘Pride’ event was unlike anything she’d been to before: “It was a great deal of fun! It wasn’t something you see every day. Wonderful entertainment!” 

After their performance, the Collective stayed and chatted with the residents.  Paris said:  “We were delighted to be included in Hastings Court’s Pride celebration. Nicole, Kikiara and myself had an amazing day with the staff and residents and we were welcomed with open arms. It showed us that the negative stereotypes about older generations are not true and pride is a chance to come together no matter what your age, as a queer person or as an ally. 

“We look forward to working together in the future and supporting Hastings Court in all their LGBTQIA+ endeavours.”

Hastings Court’s ‘Pride’ is the latest in the home’s schedule of innovative entertainment which has included residents making pop videos, a superhero-themed intergenerational family day, murder mystery events and a monthly newspaper written by, and for, the residents.

“Life here is never dull, there’s always something new to try,” said home manager, Georgina Gamble.  “We’re very much led by what the residents want to do and explore, and we try to include the backgrounds and interests of everyone.  We’re all so different, and exploring and celebrating that together is what makes life here so stimulating!”

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