Village Drinks is among the organisations in contention for the prestigious Stonewall Community Group of the Year at the Stonewall Awards.

Earlier this year Village Drinks founder Neil Spring made it into the Independent on Sunday Pink List of the 100 most influential gay people in Britain.

Organisers of the leading social networking evenings have announced that it is to launch an event in Brighton.

The winner of the Stonewall Barclays Community Group of the Year will be chosen by a vote among more than 6,000 Stonewall supporters from across Britain.

The chosen Community Group of the Year will receive a cheque for £5,000 to support its work.

Village Drinks launched an online community earlier this year and celebrates its second anniversary next month.

It will amalgamate with the Sussex Gay Professionals network to host regular mid-week events.

The first Village Drinks Brighton South Coast event will take place at the Hanbury Club on Thursday 25th October.

Nigel Patrick, the founder of Sussex Gay Professionals (SGP) and the new Regional Manager for Village Drinks South Coast, said:

“I am delighted for the SGP to be joining forces with Village Drinks. The event and the supporting website will provide an unparalleled resource for gay people living in Brighton and the South Coast to join business forces, meet new people and, most importantly have fun.”

Commenting on the new event, Stonewall chief executive Ben Summerskill said:

“Stonewall would like to congratulate Village Drinks on launching Village Drinks Brighton South Coast, and hope it proves as successful as its London events.”

The Stonewall Awards will be held in the VA in London on November 1st.