6 July 2014

Ollie Entwistle, CSRA’s chair, writes to thank volunteers for their participation in Pride 2014.

In this edition of the newsletter, you will see a lot of coverage of our participation in Pride in London. It was great that a record number of you joined us on the day. It was a powerful demonstration of diversity in the Civil Service.

Taking part in Pride events takes a surprising level of organisation and so I wanted to take the time to personally thank those who made the day such a great success.

Firstly, I would like to thank David O’Connor, our Networks and Policy co-ordinator, who took the lead on organising our participation in Pride this year. This included leading our planning meetings, developing our participants pack, and getting approval from the Minister for the Cabinet Office, Rt.Hon. Francis Maude, MP, to purchase t-shirts and flags!

Secondly, I would like to thank Niall Goulding, one of our Communications, Media and Events co-ordinators, for his tireless communications work both in the run up to the day and on the day itself. Niall was responsible for all the communications you received in advance and for all the tweeting that happened on the day itself. Never have I seen so much energy as Niall displayed in running backwards and forwards taking pictures all the way through our three and a half hour parade!

Thirdly, I would like to thank Richard Heaton, Permanent Secretary at the Cabinet Office, and, Sue Owen, Permanent Secretary at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, for joining us on the day and even carrying our banners for part of the parade. Their participation sent a really important message that the very top of the Civil Service are supportive of the work of CSRA and departmental networks, and, that they are committed to sexual orientation equality.

Fourthly, I would like to thank all the members of the Pride organising team and the wider CSRA team who helped with various aspects of the planning and the day itself. Without their efforts they day would not have been the success it was. A special mention should go to Gavin Thomas from OFSTED who personally handed out 900 leaflets by the time we had reached Regent Street. A truly remarkable effort! And, to Gisele Gallego from TSol who videoed our participation in the parade.

Thanks also go to all the network leads who were vital in ensuring the participation of network members and the support of departments – it was great to see so many supportive tweets from departments and to see the Rainbow flags flying once again.

And finally, I would like to thank all those who joined us on the day. You were the real heroes that made the day happen. By being there, I think that you have helped to demonstrate that the Civil Service is a safe place for LGB* people to work. For that, I and many other existing and future civil servants are eternally grateful.

I am now looking forward to the other Pride events that are taking place right across the UK. I hope that many of you will be able to join us in Nottingham, Cardiff, Brighton and Manchester amongst others. Together, let’s send a powerful signal that the Civil Service is inclusive wherever you work in the UK!

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