Exceptional work in promoting tolerance recognised by special award

Jenny Porter and Gareth Davies have been recognised with a prestigious award from the First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones for their work to challenge homophobia and promote tolerance.

They were presented with their awards at the Welsh Assembly Government’s second annual ‘Recognising Achievement’ Reception held in Ruthin Castle, Denbighshire. 
 
Gareth and Jenny were two of sixteen Welsh Achievers honoured for their exceptional work in their communities. The First Minister Carwyn Jones said: I would like to offer my personal thanks to Jenny and Gareth for their efforts in helping Wales to overcome intolerance.”

The Recognising Achievement Awards were launched in 2009 by the Welsh Assembly Government to celebrate 10 years of devolution by recognising the significant contributions made by individuals in Wales to Welsh society. Awards have been presented earlier this year in South and West Wales.  

The theme for the awards in 2010 is ‘Promoting Tolerance’, chosen partly because it marks the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and the end of World War II.  

Jenny Porter, Community Liaison Officer for Stonewall Cymru, the lesbian, gay, bisexual (LGB) equality charity, received her award for work in tackling homophobic hate crime. She has worked for seven years with Welsh Police forces and Victim Support to raise awareness of the experience of this kind of hate crime and to increase confidence to report or seek support.   

Jenny said: “I am pleased that my work has been recognised in this way. I have been working for many years to promote the importance of tolerance and celebrating diversity.”
 
“Receiving the award was a complete surprise to me.  Stonewall Cymru had already nominated Gareth Davies and Matt Normanton for their excellent community work and so I didn’t expect to be receiving an award myself. Matt received his award in Caerphilly Castle in March and now Gareth and I here in Ruthin Castle.” 

Gareth Davies, Youth Worker for Viva the lesbian, gay, bisexual & trans young people's service based in Rhyl, received his award for promoting equality, tolerance and inclusion. He became a worker for Viva in 2005 after attending the group some years earlier as a young person.

Subsequently he was elected as member of the Council for Stonewall Cymru in 2009. His work in schools across the region has allowed him to deliver awareness raising workshops to over four thousand young people and over fifteen hundred professionals.  

Gareth said: “Winning this award means so much, it shows me that the work that is happening across Wales, supporting those young people growing up who may be questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity, is being recognised and valued as important.”

“The work I have been doing in schools with Viva has made it possible for me to challenge, and try to prevent, the discrimination and bullying I suffered in school from happening to young lesbian, gay and trans people today.”

Notes

For more details and interviews contact: 
Jenny Porter, Community Liaison Officer, Stonewall Cymru on 07958137350, office 01492 622202, email: jenny.porter@stonewallcymru.org.uk or
Gareth Davies, Youth Worker for Viva on 07875 703734, office 01745 357941, email: gareth@vivalgbt.co.uk.

Stonewall Cymru is the GB lesbian, gay and bisexual equality charity. In Wales there are offices in Cardiff and Penmaenmawr:
The Equality Centre, Bangor Road, Penmaenmawr, Conwy, LL34 6LF
Website: www.stonewallcymru.org.uk

Viva is the lesbian, gay, bisexual & trans young people's service which is part of the West Rhyl Young People’s Project:
17 Bedford Street, Rhyl, Denbighshire LL18 15Y
Website: www.vivalgbt.co.uk


Congratulations

Congratulations to Jenny, Gareth and Matt on their well deserved award. The work they do makes a postive difference. Thank you.

Jill Evans, 02 November 2010


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