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Volkswagen to sponsor its first ever UK Pride event at Milton Keynes Pride Festival


Sep 4, 2021 #Pride, #Volkswagen
  • Volkswagen supports Milton Keynes Pride Festival with official sponsorship of its local Pride event – the first in its history
  • Sponsorship of the Community Tent and Sensory Area aligns perfectly with brand’s support of and focus on diversity and inclusion
  • Volkswagen presents for the first time We Drive Proud UK, its Employee Network Group for LGBTQ+ colleagues and supporters

Milton Keynes – Volkswagen is very pleased to announce its support of the Milton Keynes Pride Festival 2021 – its first ever partnership with a Pride event in the UK. The brand will be sponsoring the festival’s Community Tent and Sensory Area, with the project managed by We Drive Proud UK –Volkswagen Group UK’s Employee Network Group (ENG) for colleagues both in the LGBTQ+ community, and those wishing to support LGBTQ+ equality and inclusion in the workplace.

Volkswagen chose Milton Keynes Pride Festival as the brand’s nearest Pride to the company’s headquarters, with the event benefitting the local community through providing a safe space for local LGBTQ+ people, as well as contributing to local projects ranging from educational development programmes, to youth groups, and Q:Alliance, a local LGBTQ+ charity. The event takes place on 11 September in Campbell Park, Milton Keynes.

The brand’s sponsorship of Milton Keynes Pride Festival covers the Community Tent and Sensory Area – two spaces where families can enjoy themselves while being a part of Pride. The Community Tent will host family-friendly acts including authors, pantomime shows and magic performers, while the Sensory Area caters to families with neurodiversity requirements, and provides a more peaceful place away from the buzz of the main entertainment areas, should attendees need to break away from the noise or other areas where a family member could become overwhelmed.

In addition to sponsorship of these two attractions, Volkswagen will also have a sponsor area, where visitors can find out more about the brand’s Diversity and Inclusion focus and activities. Stationed in this area will be Pride volunteers from the Volkswagen Group, on hand to inform visitors why Volkswagen chose to be involved in this event – what it means for the brand, why it fits with the company’s values, and where it sits within the wider Diversity and Inclusion initiatives of the Volkswagen Group, both in the UK and internationally. Separately, in another area of the festival, a very special vehicle will be on display. More details of this will be released in due course.

Volkswagen’s We Drive Proud UK network was established in late 2019. The group continued to meet remotely throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, hosting several high-profile online events such as talks with prominent LGBTQ+ figureheads and senior global executives. Membership has expanded from a handful of original attendees to include Board members and management team colleagues, with LGBTQ+ colleagues represented, as well as supporters and friends from across the business, both UK-based and international.

The We Drive Proud UK network sits within a wider Diversity and Inclusion programme at Volkswagen Group UK, with Driven WomenCultural Diversity and Parents and Carers ENGs representing further community groups within the workforce. Further information on Volkswagen Group’s Diversity and Inclusion programme can be found here: Volkswagen Group | Careers (vwgjobs.co.uk)

Helen Pritchard, Director and Community Event Manager of Milton Keynes Pride Festival, said: “We are proud to bring such an inclusive event to our community while also being able to undertake our social action, which we hope has a direct impact on the lives of the LGBTQ+ community in Milton Keynes. The event seeks to provide a legacy via the connections made while organising, such as LGBTQ+ networks, informal education and impacting on service provision – and we’re so pleased to have Volkswagen UK on board as part of this.”

Andrew Savvas, Director of Volkswagen UK, said: “Volkswagen has always meant the People’s Car, and that means all people – with no exceptions. The celebration of humanity and diversity that Pride is, makes it the perfect event to support, and therefore I’m so pleased to sponsor the Milton Keynes Pride Festival .

“This sponsorship is more than just a gesture – it’s a message from all of us: Volkswagen as a global brand, Volkswagen UK as a national sales company, our Volkswagen Retailer partners, and Volkswagen UK teammates of all backgrounds. It shows our commitment to customers, employees and everyone in between to promote Diversity and Inclusion, so nobody ever feels left out, or less-than their authentic selves.”

Milton Keynes Pride Festival takes place on 11 September in Campbell Park, Milton Keynes, commencing at 12 noon. Those wishing to visit can find more information at: www.miltonkeynespridefestival.com

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