October Instalment of Pride Media Centre's #ChamberYearintheLife
It’s fair to say Peter Darrant-Parkes, director of Pride Radio Media, doesn’t let the grass grow under his feet – there’s definitely a touch of the roadrunner about his whirlwind ability to get things done.
In the four weeks since I last interviewed him, he got married to his partner, Michael Darrant-Parkes, developed a great business programme for young LGBT+ entrepreneurs and finalised a TV series with his team.
He said: “Our start-up programme idea came after I read a Government report based on interviews with 2,000 young people, to find out the reasons that held back them from finding work. The results showed that many of them identified as LGBT+. A large part of being unemployed was due to the difficulty in interviews and work in general, to know how much of their personal life to share. If a colleague asked about a partner, they might feel comfortable saying who that is. There were also a whole host of other potential areas to knock their confidence such as which gender designated toilet to use.
“My directors and I were keen to provide support to help these young people develop their skills by setting up their own businesses, in the supportive environment that we have created here at the Pride Media Centre.
“Working with our partners Gateshead College and the Princes Trust, the Pride Media Centre will support six people over three months, from January 2020, to learn about everything needed to be self-employed. They will get expert tuition in all the important start-up skills from marketing to creating a business plan.”
After the programme is completed there will opportunities for two of the entrepreneurs to then have space in the building to develop their business.Peter is confident that there will be a number of start-ups from the initiative who will also decide to stay in the Pride Media Centre business space.
There have been further interesting developments in the Pride Media world with a growing demand for the TV studio from Los Angeles and London for corporate videos, commercials and national broadcasters.
Peter has also begun his own TV journey by developing Out and Proud TV via the Pride Radio website.He has created a series called ‘One Fine Day’ which explores LGBT+ weddings and the suppliers who are able to help create the special day.
As for other recent successes one of the highlights of Pride Media’s September was having a prime position at the Great North Run.
Peter said: “It was absolutely fantastic.We were at the five-mile point with our huge Pride Radio branded bus, thanks to the Go Head Group.There was a tremendous response to our presence as we were playing great music to really get the runners on the move and handing out sweets for an energy boost. The bus was a perfect advert for us and Pride Radio 89.2 as well.
“The challenges of the past few weeks for me have been the different speeds other organisations we use, move at.I tend to crack on with my work as do my fellow directors, but not everyone is always able to keep up!
“I grew up on a Yorkshire council estate and my dad was a lorry driver.If he hadn’t left the family home I would definitely have been expected to follow in his footsteps, get married to a wife etc, as well. In a way I was lucky, by him leaving I was free to be who I wanted to be.All of the work we are doing at Pride Radio and Pride Media Centre is to help other people to be able to be themselves in a great, supportive environment.”