Swindon & Wiltshire Pride Statement 28th May 2020
We are aware of news articles that have been published regarding a volunteer that was part of this organisation before it became a charity. A statement on this matter was released in August 2019 (below). We would like to take this opportunity to provide a factual update.
Swindon & Wiltshire Pride became a registered charity in March 2019, 11 months after Mr Clarke left the organisation. However, upon receiving information about Mr Clarke’s conviction, the trustees informed the Charity Commission in August 2019, entirely in accordance with the Commission’s advice and guidance.
Earlier this year we worked with the Charity commission to ensure that this type of incident does not happen again. Our charitable status ensures we are fully regulated and have policies and procedures in place to protect us and the community we serve.
We are grateful to the Charity Commission for considering the matter and providing us with appropriate advice and confirmed that our Charity has a suitable Safeguarding Policy in place. Our Safeguarding Policy requires that all volunteers who work with young people and vulnerable adults are subject to an Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check. Along with specific roles completing Designated Safeguarding Lead Training and Trustee Safeguarding training.
The current trustees of Swindon & Wiltshire Pride are fully committed to ensuring that safeguarding policies are followed and that their Pride events are a safe space for everyone. The robust action we have taken in the years since this incident ensure that someone with an unspent conviction for child sexual offences could not become a volunteer for Swindon & Wiltshire Pride.
Swindon & Wiltshire Pride Statement 16th August 2019
A serious allegation has recently been made on social media and Swindon and Wiltshire Pride would like to take this opportunity to correct the factual inaccuracies it contained.
The decision not to hold Swindon & Wiltshire Pride in 2018 was not taken lightly, and was due to a lack of volunteers to create a committee and the lack of funding to put on a safe and secure event.
Lee Clarke was Acting Chair from December 2017 to April 2018. When they proposed themselves for this role they failed to make known any spent / unspent convictions. This individual has not had a connection to Swindon & Wiltshire Pride since April 2018. As an organisation and individuals, we do not condone Lee Clarkes previous actions.
The committee for the 2019 Event formed at the end of May 2018 and has since become a Registered Charity. Along with charitable status we have put in rigorous safeguarding policies, to ensure a transparent organisation, including mandatory DBS checks for all committee members.
Swindon & Wiltshire Pride do not run and have never run any LGBT youth groups, we would also like to state that at no point did the 2018 Acting Chair have any connection or access to LGBT Youth Groups in Swindon including vulnerable Adults.
Unfortunately, a small group of people from within our community have been trying to find ways to undo this hard work, and this is the latest of an ongoing campaign to ruin the reputation of Swindon & Wiltshire Pride.
The years’ Pride event is testament to a hard-working committee, the volunteers and supporters that have put in many hours and commitment to ensure that 10th August was a success.