Rev Keith Drury from North East Wales who pioneered the North East Wales Lesbian, Gay. Bisexual and Transgender Foundation based in Wrexham, has been honoured by the First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones and Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones for his work in promoting equality and social inclusion.
Keith, who is a gay ‘pentecostal’Christian and Minister with GAAAP (based in the USA) was given an award at the Welsh Assembly Government’s annual Recognising Achievement reception held in Ruthin Castle, Denbighshire on Thursday 21 October 2010. The theme for the awards in 2010 is “Promoting Tolerance”, chosen in part because it marks the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and the end of the Second World War.
First Minister Carwyn Jones said:
“Every year we recognise the contributions of ordinary people who have improved the lives of the people of Wales. But the people we are recognising today are not “ordinary”. They are people who have taken positive action or influenced policy makers with regard to promoting a tolerant society.
“Today is Wales’ chance to say thank you on behalf of those who have benefited from the actions of our recipients, many of whom have shown immense courage in changing attitudes and in standing up for what decent people believe to the right course of action.
“Wales is blessed, in its culture, its language, its heritage, its diversity, its love of sport and in so many other ways. But, above all, it is the people that make Wales a particularly blessed nation.
“Many people here today were born here, others have chosen to make their homes in Wales. But everyone who lives in Wales is, and should be, equally valued, respected and welcomed.”
the First Minister and his deputy gave his personal thanks to Drury for his efforts in helping Wales to overcome intolerance.
Drury, who is also a Social Worker in Wrexham and Chair of the British Association of Social Workers in Wales said “This is a great honour for me and all those who have and continue to work with me in promoting a more tolerant and equal society, where all who self identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender may be free from all forms of discrimination and oppression.
Keith moved to Wrexham in 2000 and was surprised to discover there was nothing in Wrexham and North East Wales for LGBT people in terms of support. advice and social activities, so he pioneered a Diners Club for LGBT people and their friends. From this he developed the North East Wales LGBT Foundation in 2006 which has a management committee of 12 people. They launch the opening of their Drop-in Centre based at AVOW on Egerton Street on the 27 October 2010 at 11.30am. The Mayor of Wrexham will be conducting the official opening ceremony heralded as the first ever in North East Wales. Keith has also won other national and local awards for his services previously includng an invitation to meet Her Majesty the Queen and senior Royals at Buckingham Palace in December 2006.