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Sponsors speak of their pride in supporting Milton Keynes Pride Festival

ITS CONTINUING sponsorship of the Milton Keynes Pride Festival is sending a clear message of support for diversity and inclusion, says Volkswagen Group UK.

The group, whose UK headquarters are at Blakelands, is a vocal champion of fully inclusive workplaces. It has sponsored Milton Keynes Pride Festival for the past two years.

For its employees and retailer partners, supporting the festival demonstrates the company’s commitment to making everyone feel welcome and included across the organisation, VW Group says. The belief is that nobody should ever feel less than their authentic self at work.

Milton Keynes Pride Festival takes place on September 9 in Campbell Park. It is the Pride event nearest to the company’s headquarters, free to attend and aims to provide a safe space for LGBTQ+ people. It also contributes to local projects ranging from educational development programmes to youth groups and Q:Alliance, a local LGBTQ+ charity.

VW staff are expected to take part once again in both the planning of the event and at the actual festival itself. The project is being led by the We Drive Proud UK Employee Network Group, which represents LGBTQ+ employees at Volkswagen Group UK, as well as ‘ally’ colleagues in support of their LGBTQ+ teammates.

The group sits within a wider diversity and inclusion programme at Volkswagen Group UK, which includes fellow employee network groups Driven Women, Cultural Diversity, Disability and Neurodiversity and Parents and Carers.

Penny Weatherup, People Director at Volkswagen Group UK, said: “Inclusive workplaces with diverse teams are more innovative, more creative, and make better decisions,” said Penny Weatherup, VW Group UK’s people director. “It is about recognising and respecting our teams, valuing different perspectives and thought processes, and making everyone feel welcome.

“This is what we are very passionate about creating at Volkswagen Group UK. That is why we are very happy and proud to once again be sponsoring the Milton Keynes Pride Festival, for the third year in a row. It is a fantastic event, completely inclusive and great fun.”

To find out more about the Milton Keynes Pride Festival, search for the mkpridefestival accounts on both Instagram and Twitter

“We are so pleased that Volkswagen Group is once again supporting our wonderful annual festival,” said festival director Keith Emmett. “Milton Keynes Pride is an especially inclusive event in the Pride calendar because it is free to attend – which means that it is truly a celebration of compassion and diversity for everyone.

“As well as providing valuable community support, let’s not forget that it is also huge fun. There will be lots to do and see, in addition to plenty of great music and highly-anticipated stage acts. All of this could not happen without our valued sponsors – their support makes Pride happen.”

  • Santander UK is the headline sponsor for the 2023 Milton Keynes Pride Festival

Drew Gibson, head of inclusion, belonging and wellbeing, said:  “At Santander our core values champion inclusivity for our people and the communities that we are part of. We are delighted to have been selected again as the headline sponsor for the 2023 Milton Keynes Pride Festival.”

Other sponsors include centre:mk, 12th Street, Milton Keynes Community Foundation, Copart and Plexus Communications.

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