The Bury LGBTQI+ Forum has been given the highest award possible to a local voluntary group for the amazing work they do in the borough.

The Kings Award for Voluntary Service has been awarded to three voluntary groups in Bury, one of which is the Bury LGBTQI+ Forum.

Co-chairs Nikki Naylor and David Catterall say they are ‘over the moon’ at how far they have come and to be recognised in this way.

Bury Times: Bury Pride

David said: “Having all the volunteers recognised for their contribution to all our events and the recognition of the increasing reach we’ve had, and the positive work has been brilliant.

“The Award is given to groups who do things that are different and unique to others.

“Although there are huge number of voluntary groups doing amazing work, the Bury LGBTQI+ Forum has made sure that our offer and what we do is different to everything else.”

They group organises the Bury Pride and the Rainbow Train, and uses this as a platform to support the community through drop-in sessions.

Some of these include crafting sessions for mental health support, domestic violence support, suicide prevention, hate crime awareness and a support to signpost the LGBTQI+ community to access services more effectively. 

David said: “Through our work with events, it has enabled us to directly influence policy of local services such as Bury Council and Six Town Housing to become more inclusive. 

Bury Times: Bury Pride

“Additionally, the group are very active in engaging across Bury, we are a diverse community and the Bury LGBTQI+ forum celebrates this.”

The group’s roots began around 2010 when Gary Hardman and Charlotte Cadden set up an LGBT Networking group.

They became involved in Bury Council’s LGBT Employee Group and linked in with the Walking Rainbow - a grass roots Pride event set up by young people – to eventually create Bury Pride. 

Bury Times:

Following this a face-to-face networking was set up  in 2018 and the group was later constituted.

David said: “Our group is fully inclusive and provides activities and activities for everyone as it is driven by the group and the community. 

“There is a six weekly meeting where all members of the community can attend where we have talks and discussions about health and wellbeing, support organisations, health services and discussions on the current events that affect the community. 

“The meetings ensure that all have a voice and can contribute to the direction of the group.”

A website has been recently launched which has further information.

To become a member there is a closed Facebook page which people can join.