Homo Heroes Awards 2013 - your winners!

Publish Date: 03/10/2013

This year's Homo Heroes Awards received almost 500 nominations across 8 categories, and then went on to receive over 6000 individual votes from across the UK and beyond!

All of our categories showcase outstanding people and organisations, with the stories behind many of the nominations touching the hearts of those of us lucky enough to read them when compiling the final 21 - also resulting in a number of special mentions which are detailed below.

There is also The Alan Turing Memorial Award in partnership with Manchester City Council which celebrates an indivdual or group that has made a difference to LGB people in Manchester, the person selected from the 30 nominations we received in this category.

And finally, there is the Outstanding Achievement Award which is awarded by our award-winning Board of Trustees.

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

your nominees

Homo Hero - Community Champion of the year

Rev. Hayley MatthewsWINNER! 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.

Runners up

tony cooperAnthony D Cooper

simon clarkSimon James Clark

Homo Hero - Business of the year

The Cooperative RESPECT networkWINNER! 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.

Runners up

serenity security solutionsSerenity Security Solutions

The QuestThe Quest

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

Andie WorrallWINNER! 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.

Runners up

Lee WicksLee Wicks

jen yockneyJen Yockney

Homo Hero - Public Sector Partner of the year

Greater Manchester PoliceWINNER! 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.

Runners up

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue ServiceGreater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service

leicestershire partnership nhs trustLeicestershire Partnership NHS Trust

Homo Hero - Volunteer of the year

Jonathan BlandWINNER! 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.

Runners up

sam aldridgeSam Aldridge

Andrew EdwardsAndrew Edwards

Homo Hero - Community group or organisation of the year

outdoorladsWINNER! Outdoorlads.com

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.

Runners up

friends of sackville gardensFriends of Sackville Gardens

Manchester CanalsidersManchester Canalsiders

Homo Hero - LGB&T venue of the Year Award

richmond tea roomsWINNER! 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.

Runners up

taurusTaurus, Manchester

contact theatreContact Theatre, Manchester

The Alan Turing Memorial Award

Right Rev. Nigel McCullochWINNER! Rt. Rev. Nigel McCulloch

The Homo Hero Award winner and former Bishop of Manchester has been chosen specifically because of the work he has undertaken over the last decade to enable a greater understanding of diverse sexual orientation while reaching out to all those within the LGB&T community in the hope that they may feel included and supported.

In February of this year the Queen invested the Right Reverend Nigel with the Insignia of a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order and it is now our opportunity to recognise his work.

In his own words, "Bullying, of whatever kind, is always completely unacceptable. At its worst it leads to atrocities such as the Nazis' persecution and extermination of people on the grounds of their race, religion or sexuality. I am very sad about the homophobic attitudes of some people. The exclusion, intolerance, prejudice, hatred and fear that homophobia feeds must be eradicated from our society."


Manchester Parents Group logo hhManchester Parents Group

A commendation is for a voluntary group that supports the families and friends of lesbians, gays and bisexuals. We all know that many of us benefited from the care of families when we first come out and it is essential that we recognise the value of the support made to those around us.

pcso lisa brookesPCSO Lisa Brookes

The second commendation is for a woman who many of us will recognise. A woman that helped to lead the candle lit procession for World AIDS Day last year, on her day off. A woman that is eager to help everyone. A woman that will always take time to help, even when it means going out of her way.

The Homo Hero Awards 2013 Outstanding Achievement Award

PC Ian AshtonWINNER! PC Ian Ashton

This year, whilst reviewing the nominations for the Homo Heroes, our team came across a nomination that really touched them.

The nomination was from a mother, for a Police Officer. This nomination was then presented as the staff suggestion for this years ‘Outstanding Achievement Award’ as it touched them so much, and in due course, the board.

The specific nomination read:

"In November 2012 my 16 year old son Anthony Stubbs went missing from home in Leyland and was subsequently found having taken his own life in January 2013 following extensive searches by the police.

"During the investigation and inquiries I was allocated a liaison officer who works at police headquarters. PC Ian Ashton had been extremely supportive both during the investigation, and even now assisting with media enquiries which are still going on and also with support for me and Anthony's brother Oscar 4 years and Jody 15 years, in particular with referrals to the doctor for support. His knowledge, particularly around gay issues, has really helped me understand the background to Anthony going missing.

"Anthony was himself struggling with his own sexuality.

"PC Ashton has been at the end of the phone day and night and been there for me in times of crisis whilst I and the rest of the family have struggled to cope with everything. He is also working with me now to look at longer term projects around homophobic bullying in schools. His knowledge and experience and overall support during these hard times has really helped and I know I am not the only person he has supported."

If you'd like to read a list of everyone who was nominated arranged by category, you can download it here. Thanks for all your support and see you next year for the Homo Heroes Awards 2014!

homo heroes supporters

  • denise

    i am so pleased that Ian ashton won this award. his work is greatly appreciated by many and especially myself who nominated him i am so over whelmed by this,and would love to help with anything that would help teenagers about being confused about their sexuality and i am looking forward to doing work with Ian ashton. my passion is to make a stand on homophobic bullying in high schools and speak about the effects it has on individuals at the recieving end. and also to have more leaflets and posters around school . well done in all the work people do !