Josie Kelly and James Spencer were instrumental in pulling off Worthing's first-ever pride event in 2018, and built on the event's success this year, with crowds of around 25,000 people attending the celebrations.
Worthing Pride in pictures: huge crowds gather for seafront processionBut after two years at the reins, the pair have decided to step aside to pursue other projects.
The 44-year-old from Farncombe Road, Worthing, said: "It is with a heavy heart that Josie Kelly and I are stepping down from our voluntary posts as founder and event organiser of the highly successful Worthing Pride.
"The committee will remain and Josie and I will also remain to hand over the rains, as it were, to our successors.
"Josie is leaving to pursue and develop her own event organising business and I will be leaving to pursue my own projects, one being for the HOPE Charity Project and further fundraising events such as the HOPE Charity Ball in November."
He added: "The two year journey from idea to actual fruition has been incredible; to have organised an event that the community has embraced, has been an honour and the highlight of both of our careers.
"Worthing Pride 2018 winning ‘Best Event’ at the Sunny Worthing Awards was also major recognition for all the hard work put into organising the event and the support from the community who voted.
"As well as being able to support local charities, Mind, Allsorts and the HOPE Charity Project, the event has also brought renewed sense of pride for current and former residents from the town, and more and more people from the LGBTQ community feeling its more acceptable to show affection in public and be themselves, not hiding from prejudice.
"This in turn has also changed the perception of the town from a somewhat conservative image to a more tolerant, vibrant one."
Worthing Pride is now looking for volunteers to join the committee and deliver next year's event.
The team is looking for people who have one or more of the following key skills:
- Direct large-scale public event organising experience
- An advocate supporter of the LGBTQ community needs
- Social media
- Local geography
- Awareness of dealing with local government Safety Action Groups (SAG)
- Crowd and event safety, plus health and safety knowledge.
Those who are interested can email their name, contact details and reasons why they would like to join the team on [email protected]
(Video taken before Worthing Pride in 2018)