Homo Heroes Awards 2013 - your nominees

Publish Date: 04/08/2013

It's that time again and we have 21 people nominated across 7 categories and the choice of who wins is up to you! You can vote for some or all of the categories and all we need is a valid email address to confirm your entry.

Voting will continue until mid-September; the winners will then be announced at a special Homo Hero Awards Ceremony in October.

These awards are important because they are voted for by you, the community, so without further ado, let's meet the nominees!

your nominees

Homo Hero - Community Champion of the year

simon clark

Simon James Clark

Simon has set up an LGB&T help and support group in Bury, aiming to provide a space for local people to meet others and seek advice and support. Simon set up the group following a positive HIV diagnosis and a personal fight with depression. Simon recognises the importance of ensuring that a safe LGB&T space exists and also supports other groups and organisations and recently designed the Oldham Pride website.

tony cooper

Anthony D Cooper

Tony has taken a lead with many community initiatives, challenging decisions and ensuring that the community has a voice on many platforms. He leads the way and gets involved at the same time, to instigate positive change for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people. Tony has recently been the driving force behind the Trans Memorial Garden in Manchester, ensure it happened in time for Sparkle 2013 by bringing people together and encouraging many volunteer hours, as well as his own.

Rev. Hayley Matthews

Rev. Hayley Matthews

Hayley is an out gay woman working in the Church of England. Every day she is challenging stereotypes, fighting prejudice and empowering others to do the same. Focussed on the positive impact that faith can have, Hayley works with all communities in order to challenge prejudice and empower individuals. Hayley regularly supports community voice and adds her voice to positively influence and change.

>>> VOTE NOW! - lgbt.foundation/hero <<<

Homo Hero - Business of the year

The Cooperative RESPECT network

Co-operative Respect Network

The Co-operative has continued to make a visible and genuine contribution to the LGB&T community this year, with its employee network Respect playing a major part in this. Sponsoring and actively participating in 18 pride events across the country including the Trans celebration Sparkle. They were the only retailer to take part in the government’s consultation on Equal Marriage. They have also worked closely with a number of LGB&T groups and organisations in order to raise awareness of their work and actively support individual groups; from providing spaces to host events to painting and decorating rooms in safe houses.

The Quest

The Quest

The Quest was formed in 2011 with a mission to transform the relationships Gay Men have with themselves, others and the world they inhabit. Central to this work is a life changing Weekend Exploration process during which groups investigate their past as gay boys, explore their present lives, release some of the toxic shame they carry and start to create authentic and nurturing behaviours moving forward. It's a unique and powerful process that opens up new and exciting possibilities. Ade Adeniji and Darren Brady are experienced and trained life coaches who devise and facilitate the group work.

serenity security solutions

Serenity Security Solutions

Serenity Security was created by two LGB&T directors who wanted to shatter the stereotype of the old-school ‘bouncer’ and believe that training and customer service are paramount in the industry. We believe the key to our success is matching the right kind of staff with each individual venue and we are the only door company in the Northwest to employ a large percentage of LGB&T staff. Supporting charities, they are proactively involved in promoting Manchester’s ‘Gay Village’ and supply security staff to a number of venues within it as well as supplying venues and events across the rest of Manchester and the UK.

>>> VOTE NOW! - lgbt.foundation/hero <<<

Homo Hero - lesbian, gay or bisexual role model of the year

Lee Wicks

Lee Wicks

Lee, an openly Gay Activist all of his life, has been focussed on challenging discrimination affecting the LGB&T community. Instrumental in forming The Friends & Supporters of the Furness LGBT Community group in Barrow-in-Furness, now occupying their our own office at the "Rainbow Room" at Cumbria Alcohol & Drug Advisory Service Lee is committed to the aims of the group, which include; enhancing LGB&T people’s lives and promulgating a positive image of LGB&T people and dispelling myths, challenging biphobia, homophobia and transphobia everywhere, both within and outside the community.

Andie Worrall

Andie Worrall

Andie plays for Manchester City Ladies F.C. and is currently the only 'out' in public LGB&T player in the game at elite level in the UK. Andie is involved with ‘Just A Ball Game?’ as one of their Patrons, doing interviews and photo shoots, who aim to use this work as part of an education package in the near future. It is hoped that by being involved in this type of work for a not-foot-profit voluntary community organisation like Just a Ball Game? Andie will be helping to raise awareness around LGB&T participation and inclusion in football and also raise awareness and challenge homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.

jen yockney

Jen Yockney

Jen is editor of Bi Community News, the Manchester-based bimonthly bisexual magazine that celebrates 18 years of publishing this September. Jen is also at the helm of BiPhoria, the UK’s longest-running bisexual group, giving a rare social-support space to bis and those who think they might be bi. Jen’s also behind academic resources including the Bi Research Guidelines and the Bisexuality Report, as well as the september23.bi.org website, a hub of information about Bi Visibility Day, the annual bisexuality awareness day which has been marked since 1999.

>>> VOTE NOW! - lgbt.foundation/hero <<<

Homo Hero - Public Sector Partner of the year

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service have been committed to raising awareness of LGB&T issues for both their employees and the community for a number of years.

One of their key activities in the calendar has been flying rainbow flags from all fire stations across Greater Manchester to mark International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, which raises awareness of the continuous impact of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia and celebrates the contribution of LGB&T people in the community. This also provides an ideal way for LGB&T people to consider fire safety and how to keep themselves and others around them safe from fire risk.

Greater Manchester Police

Greater Manchester Police

Greater Manchester Police officers and staff work every day of the year to help keep people safe in communities across Greater Manchester. Working in partnership with LGB&T community organisations we support LGB&T victims of crime through hosting weekly advice surgeries, specific officers supporting LGB&T people in the community and raising awareness of LGB&T issues within the force.

We continue to work to support victims of homophobic hate crime and raise awareness of it, and we know that this work gets better results when we work in partnership. LGB&T Police Officers and Police Staff help us to deliver the best possible service to our communities; this year it is 10 years since we first took part in the Manchester LGBT Pride parade in uniform and we are always extremely grateful and proud of the fantastic reception we receive at the parade.

leicestershire partnership nhs trust

Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust

Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust established a work programme of Integrated Equalities Service around ‘increasing access to & improving outcomes from early intervention in mental health problems amongst Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland’s lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender (LGBT) population’ which culminated in the opening of the LGB&T Open Mind self-referral IAPT (Improved Access to Psychological Therapies) Service which is also accompanied by its own separate LGB&T care pathways.

Led by Leon Herbert in the Patient Experience & Partnerships Service leading on the Trust’s work in respect of ‘supporting local systems to address hate crime & foster good relations in recognition of the healthcare impacts related to discrimination against equality groups & individuals’.

>>> VOTE NOW! - lgbt.foundation/hero <<<

Homo Hero - Volunteer of the year

sam aldridge

Sam Aldridge

Sam has volunteered as a Section Supervisor for Pride in London, a steward at Sparkle and at the XIX International AIDS Conference. Sam has been involved in productions of The Vagina Monologues and the One Billion Rising campaign – an event that raised £10,000 for a local women’s centre. Sam volunteers for George House Trust, is a member of National AIDS Trust and is never far from her megaphone and a placard!

Jonathan Bland

Jonathan Bland

Jonathan began volunteering in 2007, prompted by the Police interview after being raped and wanting to educate and inform to deal with such situations effectively. With the support and encouragement he decided to speak out, and agreed to do a talk for Lancashire Police on their Sexual Offence Training Course. Also with Renaissance (Drugline) in Blackpool, he now befriends clients who’re facing many different issues in their lives, and he loves helping and supporting them in any way that he can.

Andrew Edwards

Andrew Edwards

Andrew has been volunteering for community radio stations for many years and he is committed to providing interesting and new content for his listeners. His aim is to provide an alternative focus for the LGB&T community airwaves, covering everything from arts, culture, politics and current affairs. Andrew has been involved with the LGB&T shows on BBC Radio Manchester and more recently with Gaydio.

>>> VOTE NOW! - lgbt.foundation/hero <<<

Homo Hero - Community group or organisation of the year

friends of sackville gardens

Friends of Sackville Gardens

The Friends of Sackville Gardens have been involved in creating things such as the world’s first permanent Transgender Memorial Garden and have hosted family days and other events this year. The group have been actively planting, with poppies, wild flowers and plans for raised herb beds and a heritage wildflower garden. Working closely with the council and GMP they hope to be able to make Sackville Gardens a place that the whole community can be proud of.

The groups next focus is to re-engage people with the Beacon of Hope and with the Tree of Life and remind people why they were put in our community space in the heart of Manchester’s Gay Village and to encourage more community participation, improving the look and feel of the gardens and the health of the people involved in the space.

Manchester Canalsiders

Manchester Canalsiders

The Manchester Canalsiders Amateur Rugby League Club, was formed in early 2013. Their simple aim is to provide an opportunity for LGB&T people to take up the great sport of Rugby League. They aim to have a men’s and women’s full contact team as well as a mixed touch/tag Rugby League team. The group is keen to attract people of all skill levels, from experienced players wishing to return to the sport, to complete beginners keen to take up a fantastic sport as well as a great way to keep fit.

The Canalsiders hope that in getting as many people engaged with the sport, this will create ties with other Rugby League clubs through the UK, whether they are LGB&T or Heterosexual clubs, so that there will be more positive role models for younger and older LGB&T people.



OutdoorLads aim to increase the physical and mental health and well-being of our community and reduce isolation amongst gay and bi men. They challenge gay male stereotypes and encourage their members to get out more and try new activities that take them out of their comfort zone.

Outdoorlads run about 1000 outdoor events a year across the UK, from hiking, climbing and camping to caving, mountain biking and white water rafting as well as expeditions overseas. All their events are led by our volunteer Event Leaders who they support with training to increase their skills and knowledge. From their latest member survey in 2012, 89% of our members believe OutdoorLads has had a very positive impact on their lives.

>>> VOTE NOW! - lgbt.foundation/hero <<<

Homo Hero - LGB&T venue of the Year Award

contact theatre

Contact Theatre, Manchester

Contact is a dynamic professional theatre that combines performance spaces, digital facilities, exhibition spaces and a great café bar. As part of Contact's ongoing commitment to diversity, Queer Contact presents and produces events throughout the year for LGB&T communities.

As part of LGBT History Month, this programming converges in the Queer Contact Festival featuring the best in performance, music, spoken word, theatre and visual arts, with local young people and performers interacting with the cream of UK and international talent.

richmond tea rooms

Richmond Tea Rooms, Manchester

The Tea Rooms offer a safe environment for all members of the LGB&T community. Their traditional English style tea room, serving food and an array of beverages throughout the day and evening has to be seen to be believed. The totally OTT decor, gives a knowing nod towards a Tim Burton inspired design. Their chefs have created unique specialities whilst also providing the traditional favourites too. In contrast, their adjoining cocktail lounge, with its quirky fixtures and fittings offers the most delicious hand made cocktails imaginable.

Richmond Tea Room gets involved in ventures for all the community, along with their engagement with local groups and charities; helping and supporting both financially and with venue hire and events.


Taurus, Manchester

Taurus is enjoyed by all ages, genders and orientations; a melting pot of those who share a mind set. Relaxed atmosphere and a place to converse. Excellent food & drink. Private dining. Service led. Situated in the heart of the Gay Village on Canal Street, Manchester, where The Canal meets The Community.

The team at Taurus actively gets involved in community fundraising and is a meeting space for many LGB&T social and support groups as well as a fantastic place to meet new friends.

>>> VOTE NOW! - lgbt.foundation/hero <<<

homo heroes supporters