Meet the Team
We are primarily a team of dedicated volunteers in a variety of roles within the Reading Pride charity with a primary goal to raise awareness of the plus in LGBT+ and are always in need of enthusiastic people to help throughout the year such as attending multiple events across the summer. If you have some spare time and would like to get involved please contact us via our Contact Form.
MyUmbrella LGBT+ is a volunteer led project by Reading Pride, trading name and trademark of Reading Pride Limited; a company registered in England and Wales (Registered Number: 05041291); a registered charity (Registered Number: 1119891); and registered for VAT (Number: GB 979 8512 49).
Lead by the Chair the Trustees make the key charity decisions, provide direction and bear the legal/financial responsibilities. They are voted on by the members at a General Meeting.
Paul has been a trustee of Reading Pride since 2009 and voted in as Chair of the organisation in 2017, with a break in 2013. He has been an LGBT+ activist for over 21 years in campaigning, leadership and promoting equality and equal rights for all working with LGBT+ organisations such as We’re Out West, LGBT Consortium, NHS Equality project and campaigning for the repeal of Section 28, promoting marriage equality and equal age of consent. In 2019 Paul was nominated for his work building an LGBT+ Network at the British LGBT Awards in London, where he couldn’t resist a selfie with singer Ellie Goulding.
Paul is a published biomedical scientist. His published work focused on patients with advanced ovarian cancer and their drug sensitivity in relation to glutathione modulation. He began his career in the National Health Service, and currently holds a leadership role as an Associate Director of Global Regulatory Affairs specialising in Medical Treatment Divestment for the worlds largest healthcare company.
Paul is also a signed producer having his musical catalogue published by Universal Music Publishing. He is very much an advocate for creating opportunities for new and emerging talent in the local area. He supported a member of the community to fulfil this vision, with the introduction of the Pride aLive stage, which gave a platform for local talent to perform.
Kirsten joined Pride as a Trustee in 2016. She has been involved with LGBT+ groups for more than twenty years and is a former Deputy Leader of Reading Council.
She is a director in several not for profit organisations, and is the co-owner of a small business providing information security services.
Andy has been involved in Reading Pride for over 10 years, leading the development of our parade into a new expanded format, joining the board as a Trustee in 2013 and taking up the role of Treasurer in 2017.
Having grown up in Northern Ireland, he studied at the University of Reading, serving Chair of the RUSU LGBT group for two years. Now working as a project manager in the rail industry, Andy brings broad industry experience including regulatory compliance, Health and Safety management and event logistics.
Beyond Pride, Andy is active in local politics and has been a parliamentary candidate, gaining significant experience in local government liaison and stakeholder engagement.
Mikey first got involved with Reading Pride as a volunteer at the 2007 festival and enjoyed the event so much that he joined the committee in preparation for the 2008 festival which has resulted in being awarded a LGBT long service award in 2015.
At first Mikey’s role focused on managing the website but over the years digital portfolio grew to encompass social media, digital marketing and recently supporting the newly formed MyUmbrella committee.
In 2017 Mikey was also elected as a trustee taking his journey within Reading Pride from committee member to board member through a leadership-track route which he carries on by mentoring others and pushing forward the message through the globally recognised brand Love Unites.
During a nine-month break in 2013 Mikey continued to support the LGBT+ community through work with local charity Support U in its founding years helping them put on important fund-raisers when they launched including consulting on their online media offering to their founding board. His role has kept him close to both the civil activism and social impact the LGBT+ community face making him a strong addition to a diverse board.
Outside of volunteering, Mikey has been involved in the online development and IT industry for over 15 years and is currently an experienced PHP developer for a fast-growing Life Insurance broker.
Sarah has been patron of Reading Pride since 2016. She is a lifelong equality campaigner and ally to the LGBT+ community in Reading for many years both as a councillor and Mayor.
As a trustee she will bring her energy, commitment and networks to help grow Reading Pride and ensure it represents all communities within Reading.
Sarah is also an active trade unionist and equality rep. She believes Prides should continue to be political events with active participation and support from trade unions and local parties. There is still a lot to fight for and, together, we will achieve equality for all the LGBT+ community.
Sophia is the Lead Councillor for Neighbourhoods and Communities taking a lead on community safety and equalities issues across Reading.
She is a lifelong equality activist and has been involved in a number of campaigns and projects including LGBT History Month, Black History Month, Reclaim the Night and creating a Disability Equality Week at university. She also co-runs the LGBT Meet-Up Group and is part of the Reading Carnival organising committee.
In the past Sophia has served as a trustee of a students’ union and governor of a local school. She currently manages an outreach project at a local university.
Lead by the team leaders run the MyUmbrella LGBT+ project that focuses on raising awareness of the lesser known sexuality and gender identities through monthly socials and providing educational resources.
Christina DearloveTeam Leader
Kerry KleisTeam Leader
Steve Winter-GrayAdmin / Support