Stonewall last night raised a record-breaking £395,000 at its annual Equality Dinner and also unveiled its new ‘No Bystanders’ campaign film, featuring the voice of Sir Ian Mckellen.
Celebrities including Channel 4’s Dr Christian Jessen, former Tory MP Matthew Parris, and comedian Sue Perkins attended the glitzy event at the Dorchester Hotel in central London on Thursday evening.
The Dinner saw the launch of Stonewall’s No Bystanders campaign. The hard-hitting and powerful film demonstrates that, unchecked, the abusive language children learn in the playground stays with them into adulthood. It encourages people – including gay people – to check their own language, and pledge not to be a bystander whenever they hear it from others.
Stonewall co-founder Sir Ian said: “Abuse ruins people’s lives. We all have a responsibility to take a stand and put a stop to it. By making sure that bullying is reported and prejudice is challenged, we can help ensure that every person in Britain lives free from fear of persecution and violence.”
Ruth Hunt, Stonewall’s Acting Chief Executive added: “This powerful film starkly shows how easily prejudice and bullying can escalate from playground teasing to grown-up violence. No one can afford to be a bystander to this bullying and that is why we are calling on people to make the pledge: hear it, stop it.”