BEHIND THE SCENES
STATEMENT BY SARAH GARRETT MBE,
In 2014, the concept of the British LGBT Awards was born, and the first awards was launched in 2015 to put a spotlight on our role models and those organisations who are working tirelessly to better the needs of LGBT+ people.
Having worked in the LGBT community in media and events for over 20 years, and seen a lot of change, I’m extremely proud of founding the awards and what it has achieved, especially because of the feedback we get from those who feel isolated or alone within our community. I have seen how often initiatives and awards do not always have the best interests of the communities they serve. It was important to me and the team that the awards has integrity and credibility, a water tight judging process, and keeps a firm focus on our primary goal, to help improve equality and the lives of LGBT+ people. We continue to strive to use the awards as a vehicle to help achieve that goal.
Through campaigning and building awareness, we have launched initiatives such as LBTQWomen, which now has global presence, and we are now focusing our attention on the next generation through LGBT25.
The awards have since recognised famous faces, such as Stephen Fry, Clare Balding, Caitlyn Jenner, Tom Daley, Cynthia Nixon and Courtney Act. Allies are more important than ever in helping create change, HRH Prince William, Kylie, Daniel Radcliff and Ellie Goulding are among those recognised. It is important to highlight those working tirelessly for change including community groups and those who have contributed to changing equality, and also business, which we feel play an important part in investing in this agenda.
The judging process for corporate categories meant that winners are independently chosen by an expert panel, without any input from the organisers. The winners are decided through a structured process and those who are decided through the judges meeting are the final winners, which are announced at the annual ceremony, which is held in May.
The public categories go through public vote and last year saw 150,000 unique voters. The winners are selected by the highest number of votes and verified, based on the winner being able to accept the award, either through video or in person.
The Top 10 shortlist is usually released in February, and gives more recognition to everyone for the work they do, the list determines the overall winners. We have received international press, including BBC, Metro, Billboard, Evening Standard, and live broadcast appearances through Sky, BBC, ITV and London Live.
We have previously live streamed to over half a million people worldwide and our aim to get the awards broadcasted through mainstream channels.
I’m really proud of how the awards have grown and the hard work we have all put in over the past 5 years, I’m especially grateful for the long term support of our sponsors, who share our common goal, including Natwest, our founding partners who have supported us from the start, and the team around me who have invested so much into where we are now, those who have been instrumental: Daniel Hughes, PR and marketing, Boom, COO, and Margaret Tapping, Director of Partnerships. I’m mostly excited for the changes we can accomplish ahead.
We are really excited to pledge our further support in continuing out work, especially during this time of global adversity.
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