HOPES are high for the return of Swindon Pride next year - but the organisers badly need more volunteers to help run it.

It was a lack of bodies that forced this year’s annual parade and festivities to be cancelled - despite a successful 10th anniversary event in Town Gardens last year.

Now the committee is embarking on a recruitment drive. There are currently five members on the committee and they are hoping to fill five more voluntary roles - they need a volunteer manager, sponsorship manager, website coordinator, programme manager and a grants coordinator.

A committee meeting open to anyone interested in the event is being held at the Regent Hotel on Victoria Road tomorrow at 6pm.

Lydia Lawrence, social media manager for Swindon Pride, said: “It was a real shame that Pride didn’t take place this year, we were all gutted and I know a lot of people felt let down. There was a lot of people who commented online saying they would volunteer and help out - now they have the opportunity to follow through with that.”

She added: “We received a lot of support from other Pride groups and it is really reassuring that the community as a whole comes together or reaches out.

“This event has always been a popular one for the town and we want to make sure it returns this year.

“I hope to see some new faces at the meeting.”

Swindon organisers received a message from Oxford Pride, which has donated money left over from their event earlier this year.

They have also received help in other ways from two local companies.

Community magazine intouch Swindon is currently creating the Swindon Pride website and have made posters for them to distribute, and Birdy’s Angels have also been helping with fundraising.

Lydia said: “The planning of what we believe to be the largest free community event in the South West is no small task. We will never charge people for this event as this is something we are strongly against.”

Volunteers were also at the Old Town Festival earlier this month and raised another £500 to go towards the target.

A campaign is currently taking place in which Pride committee members introduce themselves to the community, with chairman Kristian Wheeler up first. Further information is on their Facebook page.

On Sunday, there will be another fund-raising event at the Regent Hotel, with a bingo session.

A JustGiving page has been set up to try and raise £2,500. To donate visit: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/swindonandwiltshirepride

SWINDON’S Pride event is hoping to make it’s return for next summer and will be holding a committee meeting with an open invitation for all in their search for volunteers.

The meeting will take place at the Regent Hotel, on Victoria Road, on Wednesday June 20, it will start at 6pm lasting for around two hours.