At Bidvest Noonan, we have an unwavering commitment to equality, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace. We spoke to Mathew Skilbeck, Security Supervisor and Chairman of Worcestershire Pride, to understand what Pride Month means for him and how we can support Pride.
Text by Mathew Skilbeck
June is known all around the world as Pride Month, however, this year is an extra special one for people living in the United Kingdom. This year marks the 50th anniversary of London’s Pride March.
But Pride isn’t just 1 month a year, it’s 365 days a year. We celebrate pride month to remember how it all began but we strive to bring pride to everyone every day. All year round countless LGBTQ+ groups work hard planning pride festivals and other events. I believe it’s important to encourage people to join in these events, not just for their experiences, but also because it builds that the LGBTQ+ community isn’t just for its participants. The LGBTQ+ events and groups are for everyone that desires to live in a more inclusive world, including all of our allies from outside the LGBTQ+ community.
Pride to me is about being who you want to be and being accepted by everyone. It shouldn’t matter who you love or what you look like in this world. Pride is about celebrating the achievements that have been made over the 50 years in the UK and around the world but also recognizing that unfortunately, still, not everyone is free to express themselves. Therefore, we need ‘pride’ to educate people all around the world that it doesn’t matter who you love, we are all human and should all have the same rights and opportunities.
Throughout my career in the security industry, I have come across some challenging situations being a gay man. However, this is something that is changing for the better especially now with more people and companies getting on board and setting up networks within their companies to support the LGBTQ+ community.
Working in a company that supports the LGBTQ+ community is amazing and reassuring. When big companies show support for their employees and encourage them to be who they want to be at work, it’s not just good for the company but also for the employees as they will be more relaxed, happy, and eager to work.
In 2019 I took on the role of Chairman of Worcestershire Pride, a non-profit community group that works with the community in Worcestershire and we hold various charity events and festivals during the year. The Worcestershire Pride started in 2017, and since then has developed into a bigger event. I am happy to see that there are also other towns in the area organising and hosting events too, which shows growth and need for the events.
People can support pride by attending events, promoting safe environments, and being there for someone who may need to talk about things. I encourage everyone to reach out to their local pride and see if they need volunteers or help with anything and you will find you will be welcomed fully and enjoy the experiences.