Sysco GB sponsors Ashford Pride

Sysco GB will be sponsoring Ashford’s first-ever Pride celebration, taking place on Saturday 22 June.

Sysco company, Brakes, has been a prominent business in Ashford for around 50 years, and is committed to supporting diversity, which makes its sponsorship of the inaugural event a natural fit for the business.

Sysco’s sponsorship will be part of a comprehensive Pride month programme for the organisation’s LGBTQ+ community, with all group sites featuring prominent stands to offer advice and support to colleagues.

All Sysco businesses, including Brakes, Fresh Direct, Medina Foodservice and kff, will publicly show their commitment by changing their social media logos for Pride month to help highlight the ongoing need to support diversity and inclusion both within its businesses and across the country.

In addition, Sysco GB has announced that it will roll out its ‘Progress Pride’ pedestrian crossings and site signage to further sites, following the successful additions of Fresh Direct’s Bicester depot and kff’s Aylesford depot in 2023, as a visual and permanent reminder of the importance of recognising and embracing diversity.

Paul Nieduszynski, CEO of Sysco GB, said: “Ashford has been the home of Brakes for almost half a century, and we want to support our local community.

“As a business, we want people to be proud of who they are. Our sponsorship of Ashford Pride is testament to our commitment to creating a diverse workforce where everyone is welcome.

“This is a major step forward for us. Over the past few years, we’ve undertaken a range of events, including painting Pride crossings at some of our sites as an enduring reminder of the importance of diversity, but this is a real sea change in our Pride campaign.”

Katrina Simpson-Haines, HR director, Sysco GB, added: “It’s so important that all of our colleagues can bring their whole selves to work, and that our business reflects our customers, consumers and communities.

“A diverse, inclusive and engaged business is a better business and while the celebrations are welcome, it’s feeling this day in and day out, that’s essential.

“Initiatives like the roll-out of LGBTQ+ signage at our sites to promote inclusivity and safety, our Spectrum resource group building allies, and the continuation of leadership education that enable us all to support DE&I in teams and our communities.” 

Joint organisers of Pride Ashford, Sam Griffin and Heather Hayward, want to celebrate the fabulous diverse community within Ashford. They said: “We’re delighted that Sysco and Brakes, a long-standing business here, has decided to partner with us.

“We are a not-for-profit organisation and reliant on partnerships such as this to be able to deliver our first Pride event on Saturday 2 June 2024. We are so incredibly grateful. Thank you!”

As part of its 2024 programme, Spectrum, which is Sysco GB’s colleague resource group dedicated to supporting the LGBTQ+ community, will once again be fundraising for AKT, which supports displaced LGBTQ+ young people, providing safe homes and a better future.

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