Homo Heroes Awards 2013: Winners Announced!

Leading charity The Lesbian & Gay Foundation have announced the winners of their annual Homo Heroes Awards, supported by Barclays, with ‘heroes’ including The Cooperative and Greater Manchester Police.

The Lesbian & Gay Foundation’s third annual Homo Heroes Awards recognises individuals, groups and organisations that have made a difference to the lives of lesbian, gay and bisexual people, in the past year. There were over 450 nominations and over 6,000 votes were cast across the seven public categories.

The winners from each of the nine awards were announced at a ceremony last night, Thursday 3rd October, at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Manchester.

The winners in each of the nine categories are;

Homo Hero – Community Champion of the year
Reverend Hayley Matthews – Previously a Chaplain at Media City in Salford, Hayley is an out gay woman working in the Church of England, and was recognised for her work in challenging stereotypes, fighting prejudice and empowering others.

Homo Hero – Business of the year
Cooperative Respect Network – The Cooperative has been awarded for their continued, visible and genuine contribution to the LGB&T community this year, especially through their employee network Respect.

Homo Hero – Lesbian, gay or bisexual role model of the year
Andie Worrall – Andie plays for Manchester City Ladies F.C. is currently the only ‘out’ in public LGB&T player in the game at elite level in the UK.

Homo Hero – Public Sector Partner of the year
Greater Manchester Police – for their ongoing commitment of their officers and staff to help keep people safe in communities across Greater Manchester and their continued engagement and partnership with the LGB&T community.

Homo Hero – Volunteer of the year
Johnathan Bland – ‘A survivor of many challenges’, Jonathan began volunteering in 2007, prompted by the Police interview after a serious assault and hopes to support others as well as educate and inform professionals.

Homo Hero – Community group or organisation of the year
Outdoorlads – recognised for their work in reducing isolation and increasing the physical and mental health and wellbeing among gay and bisexual men.

Homo Hero – LGB&T venue of the Year Award
Richmond Tea Rooms – for offering a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment for all members of the LGB&T community, set in the heart of Manchester’s gay village.

The Alan Turing Memorial Award – Developed in partnership with Manchester City Council, this award celebrates an individual or group that has made a difference to LGB people in Manchester.
The (former) Bishop of Manchester, The Right Reverend Nigel McCulloch – During his ten year episcopacy in Manchester, Bishop Nigel has been active in supporting many initiatives which have enabled a better understanding of sexual and gender diversity, supporting organisations that campaign for inclusion and against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.

Outstanding Achievement Award – Awarded by the Board of Trustees at The Lesbian & Gay Foundation
PC Ian Ashton from Lancashire Constabulary – Nominated for his tireless commitment to the community both on and off-duty, and his support and knowledge of LGB&T issues.

Paul Martin, OBE, Chief Executive of The Lesbian & Gay Foundation comments “The legalisation of Same-Sex Marriage has made 2013 a historic year, therefore it’s all the more important for events like The Lesbian & Gay Foundation’s Homo Heroes Awards, to reflect on the amazing achievements made by individuals, businesses and organisations who are working to improve the lives of lesbian, gay and bisexual people.”

Julian Bucknall, Co-Chair of Spectrum, Barclays LGBT employee network, commented “The evening has been a great celebration of role models and champions within the LGB&T community. Whilst legislative changes like Equal Marriage are always welcomed to ensure greater equality for all, there is still so much more that needs to be achieved to truly demonstrate LGB&T inclusion across all aspects of society. The winners at this event are helping to define and drive that ambition”.

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