Out-Out group founder honoured for commitment to LGBT+ community in Rugby - The Rugby Observer

Out-Out group founder honoured for commitment to LGBT+ community in Rugby

Rugby Editorial 19th Oct, 2023   0

A DEDICATED LGBT+ activist has been honoured at the Warwickshire and Solihull Community and Voluntary Action (CAVA) Rugby Volunteer Awards.

At a ceremony at the Benn Hall, Simon Dowling was presented with the Individual Community Impact Award for his commitment to the LGBT+ community as founder and lead facilitator of the Out-Out community group.

The group was launched by Simon in 2020 in recognition of the absence of a safe and welcoming space for LGBT+ individuals and allies to connect and socialise with like-minded people.

Founded with only six members, Out-Out has since grown into a thriving community of over 60 members from Rugby and surroundings areas.

Simon said: “It’s been amongst the greatest privileges of my life to have founded Out-Out for the LGBT+ community within Rugby, and this award is really for and about its members.

“Without brave, diverse, and proud individuals showing up week on week, there really would be no Out-Out.”

Simon says the group was founded to defy prejudice in Rugby – which was revealed by a 2019 study to be among the most homophobic places in the country, with hate crimes against LGBT+ people at twice the national average.

He added: “To me, this award represents only the beginning of my passion to help ensure LGBT+ individuals reach their fullest potential in a town in which we can thrive as an accepted community. I am beyond grateful to CAVA for recognising my efforts so far.”

Email [email protected] for more information on the Out-Out group.

Visit www.wcava.org.uk for more information on Warwickshire and Solihull CAVA.

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