Friday September 25, 2015
We are beyond thrilled by our win last night at the Third Sector Awards in the ‘Small Charity, Big Achiever’ category. It was a great evening celebrating lots of the brilliant work being done by charities in the UK, both here and internationally. Alex Brooker was hosting and giving out the gongs, ably assisted by Alan Dedicoat (the voice of the National Lottery) reading out the facts and figures about the shortlisted contestants. Personally, it was an honour to meet Alex, who fronted the awesome End the Awkward ad campaign for Scope in 2014. As well as the statuette, the award comes with over £3,000-worth of pro bono advice from Global Markets Consultants.
This morning, we’ve been joking around in the office about the fact that there was no chance at the awards ceremony to make an acceptance speech. (Cue jokes about all those Oscar acceptance speeches where people tearfully thank everyone including their cats. You know who you are, Gwynneth). So here’s what I might have said:
“It’s a well-known fact that 85.7% of statistics are made up on the spot. But here are some statistics that haven’t been made up – they come from research carried out by Stonewall, published in The School Report 2012:
• 55% of young gay, lesbian and bisexual people experience homophobic, biphobic or transphobic bullying at school.
• 96% of these students regularly hear homophobic language being used as an insult at their schools.
• More than 40% of these young people said that they skipped school, and almost a third change their long-term education plans, as a result of this form of bullying.
And it’s not just young LGBT people who are affected by this type of bullying. Boys who don’t like sport, and girls who do, are bullied for being different and not fitting in with rigid gender stereotypes.
Our Chief Executive Suran Dickson founded the charity just four years ago to end this bullying for good. She can’t be here tonight as she’s on maternity leave, but I know she’ll be thrilled with this award – so on behalf of her, our colleagues, and our trustees, a massive thank you to the judges at the Third Sector Awards for choosing us in a strong field of charities doing amazing work.
This award is dedicated to all our amazing supporters and patrons, without whom we wouldn’t have been able to achieve what we have. Our corporate and charitable partners, individual donors and events fundraisers have put us on the right track, getting us to a position where we were able to win a government grant earlier this year to enhance our teacher training programme.
But above all, this award is dedicated to our growing army of over 260 volunteer role models, who are going into schools with us to make them safer learning environments for all young people in the UK.