Clare Balding named patron of Diversity Role Models

Clare Balding has been named Patron for Diversity Role Models, a charity which aims to stamp out homophobic bullying through education in schools.

Clare Balding OBE, one of the country’s best known television presenters, and Lord Browne of Madingley, the former Chief Executive of BP, are unveiled today as the new patrons of anti-bullying charity, Diversity Role Models.

The TV presenter joins a list of other Patrons, which includes Claire Harvey, Gareth Thomas and Alison Moyet.

About the appointment, Clare says, ‘I am delighted to be a patron of a charity doing such essential work with young people.

You can change the law but it is attitudes that are at the heart of society… only by changing attitudes do we make real progress.’

Chair of Diversity Role Models, Simon Blake OBE, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Clare Balding and Lord Browne as patrons of Diversity Role Models. Lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender students are three times more likely than other children to attempt suicide; one in six has received death threats. Bullying for reasons of sexuality is a wicked and insidious part of our culture and the voices, support and reach of our patrons are invaluable assets in helping us change attitudes and – ultimately – eradicate homophobic bullying.”

Lord Browne of Madingley said: “When I was growing up, I would have found it much easier to come to terms with my sexuality if there had been visible role models of happy and successful gay people. We must not underestimate the power of role models on perceptions, behaviour and quality of life for those who do not belong to the majority.”

Diversity Role Models (“DRM”) is one of the UK’s leading anti-bullying charities – using positive role models to deliver pioneering pro-diversity workshops in schools across the country to counter stigma and stereotypes based on sexuality. The charity was established by a former teacher, Suran Dickson, following the tragic death of a 15 year-old school boy, Dominic Crouch, who committed suicide after receiving taunts that he was gay – something that was never, in fact, proven.

The charity is holding its annual fundraising carnival and auction on October 24th 2013.

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