2024 Charity Gala Announced
November 14, 2023
LGBT Great and the OKRE Charity Announces 2024 Sister Act Charity Gala Staring Beverley Knight and Ruth Jones
The OKRE charity, in partnership with LGBT Great, has announced an inaugural Charity Gala to fund the development of a new initiative to support the development of queer and LGBTQ+ friendly representation in TV, film and games.
The Charity Gala will take place at the Dominion Theatre, London, on the 16th of May 2024 and will bring together the Financial Services and business community for a special West End performance of the hit musical, Sister Act. The musical will feature actress, singer and songwriter Beverley Knight MBE, and actress, comedian and producer, Ruth Jones, who starred in the award-winning sitcom, Gavin and Stacey.
The Charity Gala will take place on the eve of the 2024 International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, known as IDAHOBIT, and it will raise funds to support a new OKRE entertainment fund called #KindQueerHeart. The project will help to accelerate the development of new queer friendly content with the mission of increasing visibility and representation, notably of marginalised communities, including queer people of colour and trans and non-binary people.
OKRE is a charity spun out of Wellcome, which sparks exciting new projects in TV, films and games, that aim to breakdown stereotypes and shift perceptions. The cost of the two-thousand seat Charity Gala have been underwritten by long time LGBTQ+ ally Simon Ruddick (he/him) who is a Trustee of the Charity and the Chair of the investment firm, Albourne Partners.
The announcement comes at a time when the demand for LGBTQ+ friendly content is increasing with the rise of shows such as Heartstopper, Gentleman Jack and Sex Education. LGBT Great’s recent publication of the Seeing is Believing research, has found that under-represented communities were more likely to look to TV and film for role models and to help them feel confident and more validated in their identities. A Gallup study also found that approximately 21% of Generation Z identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community with Bisexuality being the most common identity within the community.
Albourne Partners, Blackrock, and Bank of America are the first organisations to support the Charity Gala. OKRE and LGBT Great are inviting the Financial Services and business industry community to support the #KindQueerHeart project by providing their employees, clients and partners, with a night out at the theatre. Attendees will also experience an exclusive pre-show drinks reception and after show party with the cast.
Dr Yvonne Thompson (she/her), Chair of OKRE, comments:
“OKRE believes that entertainment shapes perceptions which, in turn, shape social reality. We also believe that kindness can be a gentle yet effective antidote to polarisation.”
Iain Dodgeon (he/him), Director of OKRE, added:
“We are so excited for this amazing night with LGBT Great and the Financial Services industry and business community. This will help us continue to support creatives to improve Queer representation in film, tv and games.”
Matt Cameron (he/him), Chief Executive Officer of LGBT Great, comments:
“LGBT Great is delighted to be collaborating with OKRE and supporting the #KindQueerHeart project. Representation, role models and visibility are core components of our proud work, and this focus helps to challenge stereotypes, ignite conversations and inspire confidence. It is vital that we recognise all parts of the LGBTQ+ community positively in the media and we believe that this will have a positive impact in business, workplaces and society at large”.
Simon Ruddick (he/him), OKRE Trustee and Chair of Albourne Partners, comments:
“None of this would have been vaguely possible without the most generous fine-spirited support of London’s most gorgeous and grand theatre, the Dominion, together with one of its most exciting and dynamic producers, Jamie Wilson. Together with the indomitable Alice Ingram, we will not rest until this party rocks and OKRE’s coffers are full: we implore you to join the congregation”.
About LGBT Great
LGBT Great is a membership platform of Financial and Professional Services organisations proudly working together to empower 1 million people by 2030 through the #ProudWork Sustainability Programme. In everything we do, we believe in lifting others up and helping others to succeed. We do this by making inclusion simple and easy to understand, by inspiring visibility and by building LGBTQ+ friendly workplaces.
OKRE is a charity which works to connect TV, Films and Games with academic researchers and lived experience to spark exciting new projects. It funds new projects through the OKRE Fund and connects people through the OKRE Network. Formerly Wellcome Broadcast, Film, & Games, it launched independently in 2021. OKRE is a registered charity.