A special celebration of The Co-operative’s support of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community will take place on 1 November at Exchange Auditorium, Manchester Central as part of Co-operatives United.
The event begins at 7pm with a drinks reception accompanied by nibbles provided by The Co-operative Food. This will be followed by opening speeches and performances from Pink Triangle Theatre and Manchester Lesbian and Gay Chorus.
The celebration's most awaited moment is the “Big Respect Raffle”. Prizes include photoshoots, meals, champagne bottles, vouchers, signed copies of albums, t-shirts and many more special deals.
Tickets cost only £1 and can be bought on the night or before, online at www.justgiving.com/TheCooperativerespectLGBTCelebration.
All funds raised from the raffle will go to the LGB equality charity Stonewall.
The event will feature many charities and community groups such as The Albert Kennedy Trust, The Lesbian and Gay Foundation, George House Trust, Manchester Pride, Terrence Higgins Trust, Mermaids, Liverpool Pride and more.
As part of the evening, The Co-operative Group will be hosting its first employee LGBT network “Respect Awards”. These awards will recognise the inspirational work of the Group’s Respect network members to promote equality in their local communities and beyond.
The “Good with the LGBT Community” award will be presented to an external community group, whether an individual, a charity or a website or other group that has helped the LGBT community. Other award categories include “Champion of the year”, “Volunteer of the year”, “Inspiration” and “Special recognition”.
The Co-operative Group stated: “The co-operative movement was founded on values and principles which include Equality, Equity and caring for others. These extend themselves to the support of minority groups and guide our embracement of the richly diverse communities that we serve”.
George House trust will also be exhibiting their “HIV positive living” exhibition and artist Lee Middlehurst will be displaying his unique artwork that incorporates the use of recycled CDs and DVDs. DJ Gaydio will be playing songs throughout the night.
The event is open to everyone. To register email your details to [email protected]