A disability charity’s ‘Pride Network’ will join the tens of thousands of people celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots this weekend at London Pride 2019 parade.
Leonard Cheshire’s Pride Network, set up for its LGBTQI+ employees, is honoured to be sending 35 individuals as a walking group for the famous Pride celebration, with the ‘Jubilee’ theme this year echoing Pride events held around the globe.
Amongst those taking part will be service manager Kevin Parkes from Leonard Cheshire’s Chipstead Lake care home in Sevenoaks.
He said: “From the start of my journey with Leonard Cheshire, from support worker to service manager, I have been open about my sexuality.
“In the 19 years working for the organisation I have received nothing but support from my colleagues.
“When I got married recently at Graceland, colleagues and residents watched the ceremony live via web cam in the service.”
Michael Burke, who is a service manager from Leonard Cheshire’s The Manor in Cambridgeshire said: “Working at Leonard Cheshire is without a doubt the best move I have made, the company values and ethos really resonated with me.
“I am supporting Pride this year as a representative for Leonard Cheshire to celebrate our diversity and empowerment to be who we want to be.
“I feel empowered to be me and to include other colleagues to embrace difference and uniqueness.”
Daniel James-Partridge, co-chair and co-founder of the Pride Network at Leonard Cheshire, said: “We are thrilled that the Pride Network has been chosen to join the parade out of the thousands of groups that apply each year.
“This is a huge opportunity to celebrate the LGBTQI+ community of colleagues and customers at Leonard Cheshire and promote their right to unequivocal acceptance and inclusion.
“We are excited to be joined at the parade by a mix of staff, supporters and participants of our programmes, such as Change 100, our award-winning internship scheme for graduates.”
The Leonard Cheshire Pride Network was set up in the recognition that many Leonard Cheshire employees are based in areas with varying levels of local support and social enterprise for the LGBTQI+ community.
The Pride Network promotes the workplace as a welcoming space that encourages diversity and inclusion, provides connection to the wider community and promotes the freedom of self-expression and individuality.
Having an active support network for LGBTQI+ employees benefits organisations by helping them attract the pool of talent constituting the LGBTQI+ community and empowering these employees to develop their skills.
Disclaimer: This is an official press release from Leonard Cheshire Disability.