LGBT Foundation Heroes Award Winners!

Published: 28 January 2016 Tags: 2016, Heroes, LGBT Foundation, Awards By John Walding

LGBT Foundation's fifth annual Heroes Awards recognises individuals, groups and organisations that have made a difference to the lives of lesbian, gay and bisexual and trans (LGBT) people in the past year. This year's Heroes has seen the largest number of votes in the history of the awards with over 670 nominations across 9 categories and over 10,875 individual votes received from across the UK and beyond!

The nominees and winners were voted for by the public with the winners of each category being announced at a ceremony last night, on Thursday 28th January, at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel in Manchester. The winners in each of the 10 categories are:

Jen Yockney 2015Volunteer of the Year - Jen Yockney
For almost all of its 21 year history, Jen has run Manchester's social and support group, Biphoria. Jen also edits Bi Community News, the UK's only bisexual magazine, and campaigns all year round to fight bi-invisibility and erasure.

Police with Pride NWPublic Sector Partner of the Year - Police with Pride North West
For over 10 years, Police with Pride have been involved in LGBT promotion within the North West police service. Their support and ethos has recently been adopted to establish a new National LGBT Police Network.

Sparkle 2015

Community Group or Organisation of the Year - Sparkle
The Sparkle weekend and fringe celebration every year sees many people on the trans spectrum including friends and family, come to Manchester to celebrate. The event aims to ensure that all aspects of the trans community is represented during the celebration through live entertainment, talks, workshops, and Sparkle fringe events.

Kate OLGBT Role Model of the Year - Kate O'Donnell
Kate has used her personal experiences of growing up being transgender in her theatre show Big Girls Blouse to help raise trans visibility. This year she has toured the show nationally working with local LGBT choirs, hosted trans pride in Brighton and won best LGBT show in Brighton Fringe. She has raised money for trans charity Mermaids and has just won a Manchester Be Proud Award for helping to make the city a happier and safer place for the trans community.

Via 2015

LGBT Venue of the Year - Via
Via, which is based on Canal Street, has been nominated this year for their continued support to the community including Pride, Sparkle, the Trans Memorial and the Friends of Sackville Gardens.

Beckie Fox

Community Champion of the Year - Beckie Fox
As one of the organisers and champions of Sparkle, The National Transgender Charity, Beckie has worked to ensure that trans people are offered a weekend of retreat and safety during Sparkle. Beckie also runs the website transtastic.com which has discussion forums and groups for trans people.

Serenity 2015

Business of the Year - Serentiy Security
Serenity Security was created by two LGBT directors who wanted to shatter the stereotype of the old-school ‘bouncer’ and believed that training and customer service are paramount in the industry. Supporting charities, they are pro-actively involved in promoting Manchester’s Gay Village and supply security staff to a number of venues within it as well as the rest of Manchester and the UK.

Barclays Ally Award - Andrew Rhodes
Andrew Rhodes is the Deputy Chief Constable for Lancashire Constabulary and has 24 years policing experience in a range of areas covering investigations, firearms and counter terrorism. He is the national lead for well-being & engagement; a very new portfolio that is developing local and national approaches to workforce resilience. Since his appointment as Deputy Chief Constable, he has embraced the valuing difference agenda and fully supports LGBT communities.

Alan Turing Memorial Award - Tony Cooper
This award was developed in partnership with Manchester City Council and celebrates an individual or group that has made a difference to LGBT people in Manchester. This year's winner Tony Cooper has done a lot of work with the LGBT community and is a Trustee for Sparkle, the National Transgender Charity; a Multi Publican Award Winner; Community Patron of Manchester Pride; Chair of the Manchester Pride Community Collective and Chair of the Friends of Sackville Gardens Association. From one of the nominations: "Tony's words really come from the heart when he speaks about LGBT issues. He stands strong for Sparkle and Manchester Pride. I feel the community does not have a better spokesperson for all the issues we continue to face."

Outstanding Achievement Award - Martin Wells

Awarded by LGBT Foundation’s Board of Trustees to Martin Wells, Chair of the Out with Prostate Cancer support group, for making an outstanding contribution to the lives of LGBT people. One of the nominations said: "It has to be Martin Wells for not only setting up the first support group for our community around prostate cancer but for being arguably, one of the UK’s foremost out LGBT people seeking to secure better treatment and care for LGBT people affected by cancer."