Over £2,300 has been raised for good causes in Fife following a successful event celebrating diversity in the Kingdom.
Fife’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community came together with friends and family for the first ‘Fife Rainbow Gala and Awards’ at the Carnegie Conference Centre in Dunfermline on Friday night, where over 130 guests enjoyed entertainment, inspirational speeches and an awards ceremony.
There was recognition of the work underway across Fife for individuals and organisations who work to end discrimination and stigma, with 8 sparkling trophies awarded by judges.
Organiser, Stuart Duffy, who is Founder of the Fife-based equalities charity Pink Saltire, said:
“We’re all so pleased with the support for the Rainbow Gala and Awards here in Fife. The event was a huge success and we really want to thank all the sponsors, those who donated prizes and bought tickets. Its fantastic to see such diversity being celebrated in Fife and it should give people confidence that they don’t have to move away from areas like this to really feel part of the community. Fife celebrates equality for all and the list of nominees and winners demonstrate just some of the amazing work happening in communities all over the Kingdom, something we should be very proud of.”
The full list of Fife Rainbow Awards winners are:
Outstanding Achievement Award – NICK SHANE (singer & gay rights activist)
Campaigner of the Year – PAT GREENHOUGH (Fife Centre for Equalities)
LGBT Volunteer of the Year – CHRIS MULRANEY (LGBT Youth Scotland ‘Flavours of Fife’ Youth Group, Kirkcaldy)
LGBT Ally Award – FRASER DONNELLY, PT Guidance at Dunfermline High School
Employer of the Year (Small) – CRAIG BOYD HAIRDRESSING, Leven
Employer of the Year (Med & Large) – POLICE SCOTLAND (Fife Division)
Inspiring Young Campaigner of the Year – CHLOE DONALD, Leven (YouTube star and activist)
Health Promotion Award – SEXUAL HEALTH FIFE (NHS FIFE)
Host for the evening was Dunfermline ex-pat drag queen ‘Nancy Clench’, who travelled up from her home in London especially for the event in her home town. She said:
“It was a real honour to be back in Dunfermline to host Fife’s first ever Rainbow Gala. Growing up as a gay person in Fife, I could never have imagined such a great event taking place on my doorstep – so I’m more than happy to support the community to make sure that young LGBT people growing up here know there is a strong community to support them.”
Guests also heard inspirational personal stories about how life has changed for LGBT people in Fife over many years, including from Alan Jenkins (ITV Border political reporter) who grew up in the Kingdom. He talked of his pride that Fife is embracing its LGBT community and celebrates diversity in all its shapes. Also invited to address the Gala event was Justine Smithies, Stonewall trans role model and recently featured in the BBC Scotland documentary ‘Transgender Love’ which aired in October, who talked openly and frankly about her transition and how her work in the fishing community led to more openness and acceptance with her colleagues.
The event was supported through the Big Lottery Fund Scotland’s ‘Celebrate’ funding program as well as a grant from Fife Council’s staff charity ‘Fife Charities Trust’, who presented an award on the night. Nearly 30 raffle prizes were donated from generous local businesses, including Balgove Larder in St. Andrews and First Class travel for 2 people on Virgin Trains East Coast.
The money raised through ticket sales and the raffle will be split between Pink Saltire and Fife Pride 2017. Organisers announced the date of Fife’s very first region-wide LGBT pride march during the fundraising Gala, which will be Saturday 1st July 2017 in Kirkcaldy.