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Will Fletcher

DRM Carnival 2014 Post Event Press Release

Friday October 31, 2014

Leading organisations and talent gathered in London at the Café de Paris on Wednesday 29 October to support the third annual fundraising carnival and auction held by leading anti-bullying charity, Diversity Role Models (DRM).

Guests welcomed to the event included: Heather Small, who gave a special guest performance of her greatest hits; DRM Patron and beloved broadcaster Clare Balding, who hosted the evening; former Coronation Street star, Charlie Condou; singer Dan Gillespie Sells; young adult author Patrick Ness; and paralympian Claire Harvey.

Leading companies, Accenture, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Norton Rose Fulbright joined forces to sponsor the Carnival, bringing many of their top management and guests to enjoy the evening’s fun.

The auction, conducted by Roger Dakin, included specially donated lots such as: dinner for four at Paramount, with special guest, Ben Cohen; a signed Salvador Dali lithograph; and three nights at SHA Wellness Clinic, a luxury spa in Alicante.

Guests were entertained by aerialist Will Davis and the evening also featured ‘Everyone is a Winner’ carnival stalls, including a Spin ‘n’ Win and DRM’s own Glambola.

Over 300 guests enjoyed cocktails specially created by sponsor, Grey Goose, and canapés such as giant tiger prawns and melt-in-the-mouth chocolate cups provided by the Café de Paris’ team of chefs.

By the end of the evening, a grand total of over £75,000 had been raised to support the growth of Diversity Role Model’s work in schools across the UK.

Commenting on the evening, Suran Dickson, Chief Executive of Diversity Role Models, said:

“We are extremely grateful to everyone who attended Carnival for their generous support of Diversity Role Models and to all the performers and organisers who so kindly gave us their time. In addition, I would particularly like to thank the event sponsors - Accenture, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Norton Rose Fulbright and Grey Goose - without whom the Carnival would not possibly have happened. The money raised will aid us in our plans to expand around the UK and ensure that all young people have the opportunity for success and happiness, regardless of sexuality or gender.”

Laura Hodgson, Senior Knowledge Lawyer at Norton Rose Fulbright, commented:

“Norton Rose Fulbright is delighted to support this year’s Diversity Role Models Carnival. DRM has achieved a huge amount in such a very short time but there is still so much more to do to ensure that all young people get the opportunity to learn and develop in an environment where they can be themselves without the stress of bullying or isolation. We have been inspired by the achievements of the DRM team and take heart that so much can be done to change young people’s lives in such a short time. We owe it to the next generation to ensure that those of us who have safely come through education help those who are currently in school to learn in an open and safe environment.”

Dominic Stanyer, Managing Director at Accenture, said:

“Accenture is proud to support Diversity Role Models in their goal to educate the next generation on the value that diversity brings to the wider community. At Accenture, we recognise that every individual possesses unique talents and skills which bring numerous benefits to an organisation such as ours. We believe everyone should live in an inclusive society where their differences are valued and celebrated, and where young people feel confident being themselves without fear of reprisals.”

Daniel Docherty, Business Support Manager and co-lead of Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s LGBT Pride Employee Network added:

BofA Merrill Lynch has supported Diversity Role Models since the charity’s inception. We believe everyone should be able to bring their whole selves to work, and as a charity DRM embraces this. One of our core values is to create a truly inclusive environment where everyone feels respected and valued irrespective of their background, age, race or sexual orientation, and we believe one way of creating and embedding cultural change is through education and raising awareness. DRM’s programmes are not only pioneering, creative and innovative, through collaboration, they truly emphasise the value of diversity and inclusion in our society and the workplace. We are extremely proud to work with DRM and participate in the 2014 Carnival.”

For further information, please contact:

Diversity Role Models

Will Knock, Operations Manager - Tel: 07947 566750

Stephanie Highett, Trustee

Notes to Editors

LGBT students are three times more likely to attempt suicide. Seven out of ten lesbian and gay young people say homophobic bullying affects their school work and many skip school because of it. One in six has been subjected to death threats, and 52% have heard homophobic comments from teachers and school staff.

Diversity Role Models’ mission is to eliminate homophobic and transphobic bullying. We achieve this by providing high quality, pioneering educational workshops involving role models and through collaborating with individuals and organisations.

Since formally launching in the House of Commons in November 2011, DRM has become one of the UK’s most important anti-bullying charities. DRM has already delivered over 650 pro-diversity workshops to over 14,000 pupils using 200 trained role models, communicating directly with students of all ages, using positive role models to counter negative stereotypes based on sexuality. Of these 14,000 pupils, 96% indicated that they would treat a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender (LGBT) person better after the workshop, while 94% indicated that they would use the word ‘gay’ as a derogatory term less in the future.

Download a copy of this press release: "DRM Carnival post event press release" (PDF)

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