BEHIND THE SCENES
STATEMENT BY SARAH GARRETT MBE,
In 2014, the concept of the British LGBT Awards was born, with the aim of shining a spotlight on our role models and those organisations who are working tirelessly to better the needs of LGBT+ people. The first official British LGBT Awards event launched in 2015.
Having worked within the LGBT+ community in media and events for over 20 years, I have seen a lot of change. Therefore, I am extremely proud of founding the awards and what it has achieved. Over the years I have observed various initiatives and awards ceremonies that have not had the best interests of the communities they serve at their core. It is important to me, and the British LGBT Awards team as a whole, that our brand 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 has achieved a global presence, and we are more recently focusing our attention on the next generation through the LGBT<25 survey.
The awards have since recognised famous faces such as Stephen Fry, 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 Melanie C are among those recognised by the British LGBT Awards for their support.
It is essential to highlight those working tirelessly for change, including community groups and those who have contributed to changing equality. This also applies to corporate organisations, which we feel play an important part in investing in this agenda.
The judging process for corporate categories means that winners are independently chosen by an expert panel, without any input from the organisers. The winners are decided through a structured judging process, and the decisions made at the judges meeting are final. The winners are announced at the annual ceremony.
The public categories are voted on by the general public and last year we recorded approximately 150,000 unique voters. The winners are then selected by the highest number of votes, and 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. 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 is to get the awards broadcasted through mainstream channels.
I’m really proud of how much the awards have grown and the hard work we have all put in over the past 7 years. I am 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. A special thanks to those individuals who have been instrumental in the success of the awards: Daniel Hughes (PR via This Generation), Boom (COO), and Margaret Tapping (Director of Partnerships). I am so excited for the progress that we can achieve in future years.
We are thrilled to pledge our further support in continuing LGBT+ advocacy, especially during a time of global adversity.
British LGBT Awards is owned and run by SPM Group Ltd. Please do not accept any correspondence, claims or documentation about the British LGBT Awards from any third parties.