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We Rode the Pride Train on the Mildmay Line Today

Updated: Jul 1

Geoff Coleman, Mildmay's CEO fulfils a childhood ambition by mounting the footplate of the Pride Train
Geoff Coleman, Mildmay's CEO fulfils a childhood ambition by mounting the footplate of the Pride Train

June is Pride Month in the UK, and Transport for London (TfL) today hosted a special event on the newly named Mildmay line. This exciting journey from Stratford to Clapham Junction on the colourfully wrapped ‘Pride Train’, was a celebration of diversity, inclusion, and the rich history of London's LGBTQ+ community.

Memory Richards, a Mildmay Healthcare Support Worker
Memory Richards, one of Mildmay's fantastic Healthcare Support Workers

Representing Mildmay were Chief Executive, Geoff Coleman, accompanied by Memory Richards, one of Mildmay’s dedicated Healthcare Support Workers.

They joined a diverse group on board, including the Commissioner for Transport, Andy Lord, TfL and train operating company staff, LGBTQ+ advocates, service users, and representatives from various charities and press outlets.

Today’s journey on the Pride Train served as a powerful reminder of London's rich LGBTQ+ heritage, highlighting the strides made in human rights and acceptance over many decades. TfL's LGBTQ+ staff network, OUTbound, organised the event to foster a sense of ownership and pride for the Mildmay line amongst transport staff, the hospital, and the wider community; to highlight Mildmay's invaluable contribution to the LGBTQ+ community through its long-standing commitment to caring for those living with HIV/AIDS; to celebrate interconnectivity by recognising the symbolic importance of the Mildmay line for other LGBTQ+ and NHS organisations along its route; and to reflect on and honour London's LGBTQ+ history.

Key stakeholders pose in the open door of the Pride Train
Geoff and Memory (Mildmay), Claire - Chair of OUTbound, Andy Lord - Transport Commissioner, and Alex, Bakerloo Line Service Manager and Vice-Chair of OUTbound

Before the train departed in the warm summer sunshine, Transport Commissioner Andy Lord addressed the crowd, emphasising the significance of Pride for both Londoners and TfL staff, outlining TfL's commitment to fostering equity and inclusion through their "Equity in Motion" strategy. He also spoke about the importance of the Overground renaming to assist with navigation around the network and the special significance of the Mildmay line for London's LGBTQ+ community.

Transport Commissioner, Any Lord
Transport Commissioner, Any Lord

Geoff Coleman, CEO of Mildmay, spoke about the hospital's 160-year history of caring for Londoners, expressing his delight at the recognition of Mildmay's work for the LGBTQ+ community and the preservation of the rich LGBTQ+ and wider history of London through the naming of all the London Overground lines.

In addition, he emphasised the hospital's ongoing dedication to serving vulnerable populations, including people with complex HIV-related (and other) neurological conditions, people who are homeless and recovering from illness or injury, and people recovering from substance misuse, all of whom benefit from the specialist care and rehabilitation that Mildmay provides for the people of London and further afield.

Dan Glass addresses the train carriage
Dan Glass, Aids Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) healthcare and human rights activist, performer, presenter and writer.
Mildmay's Geoff Coleman speaks on the Pride Train
Mildmay's Geoff Coleman speaks on the vision of HIV eradication in the UK by 2030.

As the train journeyed towards Clapham Junction, representatives from TfL and rail companies, HIV/AIDS charities, members of the LGBTQ+ community, journalists and bloggers were all on board. Dan Glass, author of "Queer Footprints: A Guide to Uncovering London's Fierce History," delivered a captivating talk about the legacy of past LGBTQ+ activists inspiring ongoing efforts for equality. He then opened the floor for wider - lively - discussions about Pride and LGBTQ+ issues.

The Pride Train at Clapham Junction
The Pride Train at Clapham Junction

The journey concluded at Clapham Junction and passengers disembarked, hopefully carrying with them a sense of connection, celebration, and the collective spirit of a community coming together. The "Pride Train" was a powerful symbol of inclusion, encapsulating the legacy of the Mildmay line and the diverse London communities it serves.



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