2014 Finalists | LGBT youth north west

Here are the finalists and winners for the Being Proud Awards 2014

This year the winners were:

Thomas Peters – Young Person to be Proud of (Runners up were Emily Kendell, Alex Mason and Jennifer Winn)

GYRO – Youth Group to be Proud of (Runner-up was Lesbian and Gay Youth Manchester)

Rachel Williams – The Jan Bridget Award for Youth Worker to be Proud of (Runners up were Liam Mason, Jane Garside and Claire Cleaver

The special award for Supporter (friend family or ally) was named after to Jaye Bloomfield this year, a supporter of LGBT Youth North West who sadly died in 2013. This award was won by the singer-songwriter Claire Mooney.

Here is a bit about each one and why they are to be Proud of:

Young People

Thomas Peters is a remarkable and well-liked member of the Wednesday GYRO group. Thomas recently completed Peer Educator training with GYRO and also put himself forward to be a Peer Mentor for the group, currently in training. All of this is testament to him just wanting to help others. A quiet, humble and unassuming member of the group he is massively popular among his peers and is a fantastic role model for others. He will speak out on issues on which he is passionate and communicates himself well when he feels necessary. A fantastic young person who it has been an absolute pleasure to work with, he will be very successful in life.

Jennifer Winn- This young person has been on an incredible journey, becoming the person that she wants to be transforming herself. She is a great example to her peers and an advocate for Trans* issues. She is a valued member of the GYRO group and contributes to the group really well, we are very proud to nominate Jen for a being proud award as she is a very proud of who she is.

Allex Mason and I met last year and ever since then we’ve been very close. He is the type of person who, while dealing with his own problems (more than any teenage boy should) will drop anything to talk to you about yours and stop at nothing to make sure you’re okay. I don’t think he knows it but he has saved my life on a couple of occasions with his friendship, his kindness and his poetry. One day I know he’s going to change the world for trans kids (and kids in general) everywhere.

Emily Kendall always looks out for their friends and has recently helped a young person come back to the group after they had a big fall out with everyone … Even though she has had various health issues this year, she still makes time to support their friends.

Youth Groups

GYRO remains an extremely important group for Liverpool LGBT Youth, creating a social and educational place which is a haven for young people and provides an outstanding level of support. The group continues to support young people in making informed decisions without judging or discriminating, and without a service such as this there would be many more young people struggling with accepting themselves and understanding various aspects of life and helping to understand more about the LGBT community and helping young people take a more active place within it.

LGYM – Lesbian and Gay Youth Manchester: I only started here not too long ago, and although it sounds cliché, they are like a second family to me. You feel so welcome and ‘in place’ here, it’s a sanctuary for when you need it most. They are there for you all-year-round. The group is always in constant use and it provides a relief from all your troubles. The group really should be proud of all they’ve done, and do. The group is a chance for you to make new friends, something really quite handy if you are not yet “out”.

Youth Workers

Rachel Williams – I believe that Rachel is deserving of the award due to the amazing work that they put into the LGBT community and especially into many young people’s lives. This year, I have seen just how encouraging and empowering Rachel has been for so many. While this is something that is done by Rachel and so many other youth workers, I think that Rachel remains an amazing figure within the LGBT community through their work with both GYRO and LGBTYNW, and this is something that definitely deserves to be recognised. Rachel has been an inspiration to me from the start. This person has helped my to find and accept myself. Every time I see them, they’ve always got a smile on their face. No matter what you have to say, or when you need to say it, Rachel will make time for you, to help you, even to speak to you. 100 words isn’t enough for me to express just how much Rachel means to me, and I’m sure means to so many others.

Since I have started GYRO, she has been welcoming, supportful, nice and funny and more… Rachel is really easy to get along with and has just been an amazing part of GYRO, always being there when you want to talk about personal issues or just have a basic conversation so that is why I think Rachel deserves this award.

Claire Cleaver – Whilst Claire has been attending my GYRO sessions i feel like i have someone extra supportive that i can talk to who i can trust i feel like Claire is not a youth worker i feel like she is more like a friend to me i think she deserves this award because she always makes me feel comfortable and after talking to her i always feel a lot happier and i think she is an inspiration to all and especially how she is straight and strongly supports LGBT community i think we need more people like claire in the world

Liam Mason – He’s always there to help when he can, he’s easy to talk to about things and will always try and find solutions to issues that will make everyone feel comfortable. He understand that some young people find certain tasks difficult due to anxiety etc and will always find ways for them to feel included but not feel uncomfortable.

Jane Garside has been supporting YPs in Warrington for many years. She has fought hard for LGBT issues within the youth service and offered emotional and practical support to many YPs and parents. She would be the last person to want to be nominated but the first to nominate others. She has had a profound influence on many YP’s lives (and mine), but would probably not admit to having done so. Quote from YP: ‘Jane has played a large role in shaping the person I am today. To me Jane means her huge smile, her kind words and competitive edge!