Proud2Be Nominated for the UK’s Largest Diversity Awards

Friday, May 13, 2016 - 11:15

Devon-based social enterprise Proud2Be has been nominated for the LGBT Community Organisation Award at The 2016 National Diversity Awards.

The ceremony celebrates some of the excellent and inspiring achievements of positive role models and community organisations from across the UK. The awards aim to recognise nominees in their respective fields of diversity including age, disability, gender, race, faith, religion and sexual orientation.

Proud2Be is a social enterprise that supports lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans &/or questioning+ (LGBTQ+) people, their families and friends, in Devon and beyond. 

Proud2Be began in June 2011, when founders, Jon & Mat Price, recorded a short video explaining how they are both “proud to be gay”.

Since then a number of public figures have contributed to the Proud2Be Campaign, including Christine Burns MBE, Andrew Solomon, Stephen Fry, Peter Tatchell and Michael Cashman CBE. 

Proud2Be holds a number of events in South Devon including an adult social group, craft days, fundraiser discos, volunteer residentials and Totnes Pride, which is now regarded as the UK’s largest rural Pride event. 

During the week of Totnes Pride 2014, Proud2Be installed a temporary rainbow crossing, which was a first for a rural town. In early 2015, Proud2Be launched a campaign to gain approval to install a permanent version in Totnes, to celebrate diversity and raise awareness about the issues still faced by the LGBTQ+ community.

In 2014 Proud2Be launched a youth project which includes a fortnightly youth group and 1:1 mentoring. As part of the project, Proud2Be facilitate anti-bullying and LGBTQ+ Awareness workshops in schools and colleges.

In 2015, Founders Jon & Mat Price spoke at the first ever TEDxTotnes event. Their talk ‘How Shame Made Us Proud2Be’ was released and chosen by Tedx to be promoted to their 3 million YouTube subscribers.

Proud2Be have also named award-winning human rights activist Aderonke Apata, international bestselling author Andrew Solomon, classical musician and activist CN Lester, human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, retired political trans activist Christine Burns MBE, as its patrons.

Founders Jon and Mat said: “We are thrilled that we have been nominated for a national diversity award, particularly as it recognises Proud2Be as a community organisation. We have spent the last five years working alongside our wonderfully diverse and vibrant community and it has been a pleasure to see so many people come together and support one another in the face of adversity. Thank you to all who have voted for us and to all those who continue to support us!”

The National Diversity Awards 2016 in association with Microsoft will be held in Liverpool on September 16th. 

Britain’s most inspirational and selfless people will come together to honour the rich tapestry of our nation, recognising individuals and groups from grass roots communities who have contributed to creating a more diverse and inclusive society.

The largest diversity awards ceremony of its kind has attracted a growing list of top employers such as Transport for London, Financial Ombudsman Service and PwC.

The prestigious black-tie event has also gained support from a number of celebrities including Stephen Fry, Lenny Henry and Ade Adeptian.

Olympic Diver Tom Daley said, 'The National Diversity Awards is a true celebration. A celebration of role models and community organisations who are having a huge impact on people lives. Everybody who has been nominated and shortlisted is striving 
towards making society better for everyone, regardless of age, gender, race, faith, religion, sexual orientation or disability. I would like to wish all the shortlisted nominees the very best of luck at this year’s National Diversity Awards'.

Amongst last year’s winners was technology professional Tunji Akintokun who, alongside his day job as Director at Cisco Systems, runs Your Future, Your Ambition. The social enterprise encourages young people from ethnically diverse backgrounds into STEM related industries. 

Landscape photographer Oliver Hellowell took home the positive role model award for disability. With over a thousand votes and some impeccable evidence Oliver was described as 'A shining example and marvellous role model for disabled people who wish to get barriers removed and achieve.' 

Trans Men Support & Advice UK were also recognised for providing anonymity and fellowship to over 1000 trans masculine members throughout the UK.

The National Diversity Awards received over 20,000 nominations for last year’s event. Paul Sesay, Chief Executive of the National Diversity Awards said, ‘It is an honour to witness the extraordinary journeys of Britain’s unsung diversity heroes, and we will continue to recognise their extraordinary achievements during 2016. I know another fantastic spectacle of role models will be delivered and recognised this year’.

Nominations are now open and close June 20th 2016 - so don’t miss out on your chance to get involved! Shortlisted nominees will be announced shortly after this date.

To nominate Proud2Be please click HERE or for a nomination form please email:

To find out more about Proud2Be please visit:


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