American Express signs up to support Pride

American Express is an official partner of Pride
American Express is an official partner of Pride

American Express has signed up as an official partner for this year’s Pride festival.

American Express, Brighton’s largest private-sector employer, has signed up as an official partner for this year’s Pride festival.

Brighton Pride 2014 takes place over the weekend of August 2 and 3 and the financial support of American Express and other partners provides vital funding towards the production and running costs.

That means more of the money raised by the event can be directed to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) groups across Sussex.

Beneficiaries have included Allsorts Youth Project, Lunch Positive, LGBT Community Safety Forum, MindOut, Peer Action and Clare Project and last year’s event raised more than £43,000 for the Rainbow Fund.

The 2014 event is expected to attract around 255,000 participants and spectators. As in previous years, American Express will be entering a float in the LGBT Community Pride Parade, with this year’s procession themed The World’s A Disco. American Express employees, including members of Pride UK (American Express LGBT employee network), will be on board to join in the celebrations.

As part of this new partnership agreement for 2014, American Express has been working with Brighton Pride Community Interest Company to introduce electronic payments at the Pride Festival for the first time. Participants will be now be able to pay for tickets on the day and food and drink with credit and debit cards.

Mike Whyte, vice president, merchant services American Express, said: “We are immensely proud to be supporting the invaluable work Pride does in raising awareness and funds for the LGBT community.

“At American Express we encourage people from all backgrounds, talents and perspectives to thrive.

“Our employees, including Pride UK members will be participating in the parade and lining the route with family members and friends, alongside tens of thousands of people from across Sussex, to show support for equality and to celebrate diversity.”

Paul Kemp, Brighton Pride Community Interest Company, said: “American Express has been involved in the Pride parade for several years, but the increased backing we’re now receiving from partners will help us beat the fundraising target we achieved last year.

“With the introduction of electronic payments, we’re also going to be able to provide a more pleasurable experience to festival goers as they’ll have a number of payment options rather than just cash.”

American Express is a proud supporter of the LGBT community. The financial services company is a Stonewall 2014 Workplace Equality Index Top 100 Employer and has been the city’s major supporter of Stonewall’s Brighton Equality Walk since 2007.

The American Express LGBT Pride employee network also operates a mentoring scheme with the University of Brighton careers service. The six month scheme pairs up students who identify as LGBT with professionals from American Express, to share their experience, build confidence and develop skills that can enhance future career prospects.

For tickets to Pride 2014, to register for an e-newsletter or to make a donation visit: www.brighton-pride.org.