METRO Chief Executive Marguerite McLaughlin has been awarded the British Empire Medal in the 2013 New Year Honours List for health and community services to lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender (LGBT) and African people in London and the South East.
METRO is a leading equality and diversity charity providing mental health and wellbeing services, sexual health and HIV services and youth services across London and the South East through national and international projects. METRO supports all people experiencing issues related to sexuality, sexual health or gender identity. Services include counselling, groupwork, youthwork, advocacy, HIV prevention and support, sexual health screening and peer mentoring, as well as support for victims of same-sex domestic violence and LGBT hate crime.
Marguerite has been METRO’s Chief Executive since 2003 and has led the organisation through a decade of huge growth and change.
METRO is now the biggest provider of direct services to LGBT people in London, and its services extend to many other communities including African people, young people and those living with HIV. METRO is also a significant third sector organisation in Kent and Medway and is leading the biggest national survey of young LGBT people across England in its groundbreaking Youth Chances project. In ten years METRO’s annual income has increased to £2.5 million and it now employs 70 staff and is supported by over 100 volunteers.
“It is very humbling to be honoured in this way and I am absolutely thrilled to have been recommended for this award. I am inspired every day by the passion, commitment and enthusiasm of METRO’s service users, volunteers and staff. METRO is unique in providing the range of services that it does – services that I am proud to say, have developed in response to the needs of the people and communities we work with and for. The Prime Minister revived the British Empire Medal in 2011 particularly to recognise the hard work and dedication of the voluntary sector and I am very pleased to accept the award in that spirit and in recognition of the important role the sector plays in the life of the nation, supporting those communities most in need.”