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Celebrating PRIDE 2019

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This year, we’re celebrating our members and employees who make PureGym a more diverse and vibrant place.

We truly believe that everyone deserves to be part of an environment that is inclusive and welcoming - and this just would not be possible without the people that make PureGym what it is.

More than a third or 35% of LGBT people in the UK have hidden that they are LGBT+ at work for fear of discrimination (Source: Stonewall). At PureGym we want to do our part to break down this barrier and to ensure that everyone at PureGym is free to be themselves. We will be featuring six PureGym team members who identify as LGBT+ and celebrate their unique journeys!

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Seb, Assistant Gym Manager at London Clapham

PureGym Pride 2019 Seb
PureGym Pride Seb

"I’m Seb and I’m from Sweden. I'm the Assistant Gym Manager for PureGym London Clapham."

What's your favourite way to express yourself?

"Listening and singing along to my favourite Spice Girls songs."

What does Pride mean to you?

"Pride to me means accepting who you are and celebrating diversity. There are many people in the world who are afraid to show who they are so Pride is a great reminder to us all that it’s okay to be your true self."

Thoughts on:

  • Finding confidence: "It can take time but as soon as you accept yourself for who you are, your confidence will shine through."
  • Being inclusive: "I think it's important to get together as a community to show that love is equal.  That's why I like to make everyone feel welcome and part of a team, not just in my job but in everyday life too."
  • Making a difference: "Everyone is unique and everyone’s voice matters. No matter who you are and where you come from you can make a difference by speaking up and showing that you care."

What advice would you give to your younger self?  

"Things will get better with time. Make sure you believe in yourself and stay strong for what you believe in."

"I AM UNIQUE. I FEEL PROUD TO BE LGBT+. TOGETHER WE ARE STRONG. WE LIVE IN A WORLD WHERE I CAN BE MYSELF."   

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Katie, Gym Manager at London Bow Wharf

PureGym Pride 2019 Katie Jackson
PureGym Pride 2019 Katie Jackson

"I’m Katie. I'm the Gym Manager for PureGym London Bow Wharf. I play football at a high level. I love the sport so much that I can't see myself ever giving it up. I also love travelling so I take any opportunity I can to see the world!"

What's your favourite way to express yourself?

"Playing football of course!"

What does Pride mean to you?

"Pride to me is about being proud of who you are."

Thoughts on:

  • Being inclusive: "It doesn't matter who you are, just be yourself."
  • LGBT+ labels: "There's no need for labels really. Be true to who you are because there's no need to be anyone you're not."
  • Being passionate: "Be in pursuit of what sets your soul on fire. I find I'm really passionate with everything in life - admittedly that means I can be sensitive at times as well."

What advice would you give to your younger self?  

"Have confidence in yourself. Don't be afraid to be your true self. Being LGBT+ doesn’t mean you are any different from the person next to you."

"I AM OPEN MINDED. I FEEL PROUD TO BE LGBT+. TOGETHER WE ARE ON A JOURNEY. WE LIVE IN A WORLD WHERE WE CAN UNITE TOGETHER."

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Danielle Titterington, Gym Manager at Bradford Thornbury

Danielle Titterington PureGym Pride
Danielle Titterington PureGym pride

“I’m Danielle. Everyone calls me Dani. I love travelling and seeing the world so I like to go on as many adventures as I can. Wanderlust should be my middle name!”

“I represented England in the Rugby League for 14 years and played in 4 World Cups. Some of my greatest memories in life are from playing the sport. Nowadays, as well as being a Gym Manager, I help manage Bradford Bulls Rugby League Women where I support and help develop the athletes to become the best they can be.”

What’s your favourite way to express yourself?

"Surfing! I learnt how to surf whilst travelling. It’s exhilarating. I get a real buzz (if you know, you know) and think everyone should give it a go if they can."

What does Pride mean to you?

"It’s the opportunity for everyone and anyone to come together to celebrate who they are. I go to Leeds Pride every year and have done for a long time. Pride events are a great way to celebrate and show support towards diversity and equality."

Thoughts on:

  • Being inclusive: “I’m all about equality and making a difference.”
  • Overcoming challenges: “I love a challenge and being able prove that I can do something. I’d never quit if someone said I couldn’t do it!”
  • Being passionate: “I’m passionate about inspiring others to achieve their goals and dreams. You should live the life you love and always laugh.”

What advice would you give to your younger self?

"Don’t hold back on anything you want to do in life, anything is possible."

"I AM STRONG. TOGETHER, WE ARE STRONGER. I FEEL PROUD TO BE LGBT+. WE LIVE IN A WORLD WHERE EVERYONE SHOULD BE FREE TO BE WHO THEY ARE."

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Ashley Dweh, Assistant Gym Manager At PureGym London Lambeth

Ashley Dweh PureGym Pride 2019 Campaign
Ashley Dweh PureGym Pride 2019 Campaign

“I’m Ashley. From a young age I never felt like I didn't fit in growing up. I took up lots of activities like martial arts, kayaking and rock climbing - anything where I can be active and be a part of a community. But at the same time, I knew that I was a little bit different which I really didn’t really discover until I went to university. I like to think that I am constantly evolving through learning new things and meeting new people."

What’s your favourite way to express yourself?

"Being compassionate to myself and others. Hopefully the energy I give out to the world will reach others in a positive way."

What does Pride mean to you?

"Pride means that I accept who I am. You don’t have to go to a Pride event to celebrate Pride (although they are incredible!). It can be a day in the park with friends or a date for the first time. I think Pride is great in the sense that people are rooting for a more accepting world where we can support each other to love whoever we choose to which is a great feeling."

Thoughts on:

  • Finding confidence: “Confidence to me is not about exuding an image that you are this “type” of person, whoever that may be. It’s about having that hidden confidence, the one that you know in yourself that you are amazing.”
  • Being inclusive: “It’s important to find people that make you feel included and accepted. More importantly, it's about knowing that you deserve to be included and loved.”
  • Making a difference: “It doesn’t have to make a massive impact. Sometimes it’s just about making a small difference.”
  • LGBT+ labels: "You can either let words define you or refine you. I chose the latter."

What advice would you give to your younger self?

"I would tell my younger self that you might feel lost and alone now, but your future self will be thankful for the way you are and be surrounded by love. There’s no need to hide who you are. Live your best life and focus on being the best you can be."

"I AM WHO I AM. TOGETHER, WE ARE MORE THAN JUST A LABEL. I FEEL PRIVILEGED TO BE LGBT+. WE LIVE IN A WORLD WHERE WE CAN TRULY ALLOW OURSELVES TO LOVE, BE LOVED AND FEEL GREAT DOING SO."

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Danielle De Souza, Gym Manager at PureGym London Bromley

Danielle De Souza PureGym Pride Campaign
Danielle De Souza PureGym Pride Campaign

“Hi, I’m Danielle. If I had to describe myself in 3 words it would be confident, passionate and funny! I love having a laugh, playing football, my dog Ralphie and travelling.”

What's your favourite way to express yourself?

“Playing football. I’ve played football ever since I was 3 and still do! I play at semi-pro level in my spare time and it’s how I met my partner, Katie. “

What does Pride mean to you?

“Pride to me is about expressing your feelings with others. It’s very important, especially for individuals who feel like they might be alone. The Pride events allow people to come together in a safe environment where they can show and be their true selves.”

Thoughts on:

  • Being inclusive: “It’s super important and something I always try to do, both in work and out of work.”
  • Finding confidence: “It’s a huge part of life for everyone. I’ve found my confidence has grown with age. I’m the most confident I’ve ever been and this has given me a boost in believing that I can achieve what I want in life.”
  • Being passionate: “Find something you’re passionate about because it can really give you a sense of worth and help drive you to greatness.”
  • Making a difference: “I think it’s really important that everyone strives to want to make a difference to the world so we could make it a better place.”

Advice I would give to my younger self:

“Don’t worry too much about what people might think of you. If they love you enough, they would still love you and will still be in your life.”

 “I AM STRONG.  TOGETHER, WE ARE POWERFUL. I FEEL PRIVILEGED TO BE LGBT+. WE LIVE IN A WORLD WHERE WE ARE SLOWLY UNDERSTANDING WHAT IT MEANS TO BE WHO WE ARE.”

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Chris Slight, Personal Trainer at PureGym Newport

Chris Slight PureGym Personal Trainer Pride Campaign 2019
Chris Slight PureGym Personal Trainer Pride Campaign 2019

"I’m Chris. I'm a Personal Trainer at PureGym. I can be quite introverted which you would find hard to believe if you came to any of my classes! I have a passion for group exercise, running and cycling. I am a massive fan of SciFi - Star Trek and Doctor Who being my favourites."

What's your favourite way to express yourself?

“Being creative. I might be a Personal Trainer but I also like to design things in my spare time."

What does Pride mean to you?

“To me, Pride is a chance for everybody to come together to celebrate love, celebrate community, celebrate each other and celebrate being you!"

Thoughts on:

  • Being inclusive: “It's great to see events like Pride where inclusivity is being celebrated but I think there is more that can be done to make the world a more inclusive place.”
  • Finding confidence: “Confidence can come in many forms but I think it's about believing in yourself and being proud of who you are."
  • Being passionate: “Find something you’re passionate about!"
  • Making a difference: “I love that my role as a Personal Trainer means that I can help make a positive difference to people’s lives by helping them improve their fitness and wellbeing. ”

Advice I would give to my younger self:

"If I could tell something to my younger self it would be to be proud of who you are. We are all unique and we have different tastes, embrace it! Support can go a long way so it's important to surround yourself with loving people who accept you just the way you are."

"I AM PASSIONATE. I AM SIMPLY ME. I FEEL PROUD TO BE LGBT+. TOGETHER WE ARE ONE COMMUNITY."

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Thanks for celebrating Pride 2019 with us!

It has been great to celebrate Pride with the PureGym team and with so many members across the country. Thanks to everyone who supported us at a Pride parade and to everyone who makes our community so diverse and vibrant. #EverybodyWelcome

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