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Alison Moyet and Sue Perkins attend star studded charity event

Diversity Role Models carnival event raises £76,000

Jordie Black

Tue, 06 Nov 2012 16:27:07 GMT | Updated 4 years today

Diversity Role Models, set up a year ago by former teacher and current chief executive Suran Dickson, recently ran their first fundraising carnival event hosted by Simon Blake OBE raising over £76.000.

Describing the charity's "extraordinary first year" tackling homophobic bullying in schools, she told DIVA "the work has only just started".

The event which took place in one of London's most exclusive bars, the Paramount, saw celebrities Sue Perkins, Boy George, Charlie Condou, Harry Derbridge, Stella Duffy, Sarah Parish, Philip Salon, Sophie Ward and Shelley Silas take part in carnival games in aid of the charity.

Also featured was the carnival event spin'n'win, which saw Boy George lose more money than he gained and an auction boasting prizes including Matisse's 'Kings Sadness' an original colour lithograph from 1952, a day at the races with Clare Balding, afternoon tea with Downton Abbey's Lady Mary,  swimming or dancing lesson with Mark Foster, dinner or a personal training session with Ben Cohen, a visit to Howard Hodgkin's studio, hosted by the artist, the chance to be a named character in a new Patrick Gale novel and a unique ceramic dog created especially for the event by Grayson Perry.

The evening wasn't limited solely to carnival games; a performance by Alison Moyet (pictured) set the crowd alight with Alison telling the crowd, "To support Diversity Role Models is to support our children. Every family is diverse and every child has the right to grow into their own shape without intimidation or humiliation". Doctor Who star David Tennant commented that he too was delighted to support the charity telling our reporter, "It's essential to help break down the stereotypes and prejudice that lead to bullying."

The fundraising event was organised in order to aid the charity's ability to grow its services to schools. Money raised from the event alongside constant support from sponsors helps fund the schemes that makes a difference to so many young people's lives.

Using positive role models to counter negative stereotypes in schools has already had an encouraging impact. One workshop held by DRM saw the number of 13-year-old students who would avoid befriending a gay person fall from 58% to 8% by the end of the workshop. Role models associated with the charity speak to young children in schools, offering them the chance to ask questions anonymously. The aim is not to convince young children to make moral decisions about issues they've only just begun to understand; the aim is to make children aware of the diversity in the world, whilst promoting the message that it's okay to be different.

Find out more about Diversity Role Models here

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