National Student Pride founder and Oxford Brookes graduate receives award from Prime Minister

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Tom Guy

The UK Prime Minister has today (21 February) recognised Oxford Brookes alumnus Tom Guy for founding the largest student-led LGBT event in the UK.

Tom founded the organisation in 2005 as a student at Oxford Brookes University to promote progressive voices on campus and tackle homophobia. 

It is a great honour for Oxford Brookes that National Student Pride has its roots here at the University and, like so many of our alumni, Tom has made a real difference since graduating.

Professor Anne-Marie Kilday, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Student and Staff Experience

Since then, the event has grown to attract over 1,700 students from more than 170 universities and colleges worldwide to participate in an annual weekend festival of talks, exhibitions, and workshops in London. The event includes a careers fair providing tailored support for LGBT students and aims to improve diversity and inclusion in the workplace. 

National Student Pride has also worked with the National Union of Students LGBT and the Terrence Higgins Trust to support the campaign to make sex and relationships education compulsory in schools, which the Government approved in 2017. In 2016 Tom also founded and now Chairs the Architecture LGBT+ network.

Tom is the latest recipient of the Points of Light award which recognises outstanding volunteers who are making a change in their community and inspiring others.

Tom's award coincides with this year’s National Student Pride event, and LGBT History Month.

Professor Anne-Marie Kilday, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Student and Staff Experience at Oxford Brookes University, commented: "On behalf of the University I wish to congratulate Tom on this accolade which recognises his work in improving the lives of others. It is a great honour for Oxford Brookes that National Student Pride has its roots here at the University and, like so many of our alumni, Tom has made a real difference since graduating. We are currently hosting a range of events as part of LGBTQ+ History Month to demonstrate our support and in helping to raise awareness that rights and freedoms are hard-won.”

On receiving the award, Tom commented: "I am delighted to be the Point of Light, and especially so that National Student Pride is taking place this weekend. The work we do at National Student Pride is so important in providing a safe space for LGBT+ students to have their first pride and discover their true identity. Each year we tackle topical issues such as Gender, Homelessness and Mental Health and this year Ian McKellen is joining us as we discuss Activism and Race."

In a personal letter to Tom, Prime Minister Theresa May said: "The extraordinary success of National Student Pride is a testament to your outstanding commitment to helping young LGBT people feel comfortable in their identity. By bringing together students from across the UK and internationally for an engaging weekend of performances, discussion and careers support, you have built a remarkable platform for young LGBT voices to be heard. I wish you the very best with this year’s event."

Oxford Brookes featured Tom in a recent issue of the University publication Observe which is available to read online.

Further details on the events taking place at Oxford Brookes as part of LGBTQ+ History Month can be found on our dedicated webpages.

Information on National Student Pride can be found online.