The recent bank holiday witnessed FGH’s busiest business weekend of the year with a full deployment of staff to Manchester Pride as well as to our regular, valued customers. This is FGH’s third year of providing the security for Manchester Pride and thankfully whilst the rest of the country’s bank holiday was very literally washed out, there was no (excuse the pun) rain on our parade, or upon the thousands of representatives and supporters of the LGBT community who joined together to celebrate diversity and freedom of expression.
On Saturday Manchester was carnivalesque as the world famous pride parade unapologetically hit the city’s streets, headed up by the 2015 grand Marshall; actor, LGBT rights campaigner and the general legend that is Sir Ian McKellen. Whilst footage of #DancingPoliceOfficer Inspector Jacqui Prest has gone viral with over 200,000 people viewing her performance of the 80’s cult classic footloose dance routine, behind the scenes our stewards, security guards and events operatives were enjoying the atmosphere whilst helping to support the event and Greater Manchester Police to ensure the safety of parade participants and spectators. For many of our staff Pride represents the highlight and culmination of our events season, this year in particular they have outperformed themselves by delivering an outstanding customer experience to all attendees of the parade and the big weekend. It also allows for cross divisional learning in the company and allows staff members to broaden their skills and experience base. For example, security guarding staff gain an understanding of working as part of larger deployments and dealing with a broad range of members of the public in a range of situations.
Praise from both members of the public and celebrities has been effusive: Our team was praised simultaneously for their inner and outer beauty and their friendly and hard-working approach to securing the event;
Ian Mckellen was delighted with the attentive close protection services of Business Director, Wesley Downham;
…Dannii Minogue was impressed with our pride-friendly security
…and Atomic Kitten Liz McClaron tweeted her thanks for the efforts of our security crew backstage.
Over the weekend these celebrities and the likes of Alesha Dixon, Union J and Lucy Spraggan brought the party to the crowd at the main arena whilst Jodie Harsh and Hot Since 82 were among the artists laying out the beats in the gaydio dance arena. The weekend was brought to a close with a magical and moving candlelight vigil, highlighting the plight of victims of HIV and Aids worldwide and commemorating those who have very sadly lost their lives to the epidemic. Peter Harrison (Managing Director) praised the efforts of all the staff who worked the event adding ‘Pride is a very special event for us, it signals the community natured focus of our business but also brings together staff from across the various branches of our business. I was delighted to see individuals from security guarding, door supervision and events meeting for perhaps the first time, forging new friendships and appreciating each other’s different specialisms. Pride is a coming together not only of the different cultural communities in Manchester but also within FGH as a whole. We could not secure this event so effectively without the commitment and commendable customer service of all our staff. FGH is looking forward to continuing to build upon our pre-existing working relationship with the organisers of Manchester Pride. We hope to continue being proud to serve pride for many years to come.’