The founder of A Day in Hand, which encourages LGBT people to hold hands in public, has been honoured with an award at Downing Street.

David Watkins won the Social Inclusion Award from the Sheila McKechnie Foundation. The charity is dedicated to connecting, informing and supporting campaigners.

He and other award winners met at 10 Downing Street on Wednesday evening to meet prime minister Gordon Brown.

Watkins received his award from Channel 4 News present Jon Snow, who is a patron of the foundation, and Liberty chief executive Shami Chakrabarti.

He said: “It’s great that an activist who fights for LGBT rights is being recognised by the prime minister. Homophobia is a human rights issue and increasing visibility of LGBT couples will help to ultimately challenge discrimination. Gaining support from the Sheila McKechnie Foundation and the prime minister enables me to more visibly fight for the rights of LGBT people to express their love openly in public without fear of abuse.”

A Day in Hand asks LGBT people to show their affection publicly on the last Saturday of each month.The next one will be held on Saturday October 31st.

The campaign has received the backing of a number of celebrities such as mayor of London Boris Johnson, Peter Tatchell and Boy George and is an attempt to allow gay, bisexual and trans people to feel more comfortable in public.