Rachel Benson

Rachel Benson (she/her) is the Equality, Inclusion and Programmes Manager at Youth Cymru, a national charity with over 80 years’ experience of supporting young people and youth work in Wales. She has managed TransForm Cymru since its establishment in 2014 which supports trans, non-binary and gender diverse young people and promotes trans inclusive practice through training, information and guidance.

TransForm has enabled trans young people to develop their own social action projects and events and produce positive counter-narratives to transphobia. In 2018, Humanequin, developed by Youth Cymru and Mess Up The Mess in partnership with young people from TransForm, was performed by a cast of young trans and non-binary actors at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff:

Currently, the ‘Belong’ project (a partnership between Youth Cymru and The Amber Project) provides workshops, counselling and emotional well-being support to trans, non-binary and gender diverse young people in Cardiff and the surrounding areas.

She is currently studying for her MA in Managing Community Practice; her dissertation focuses on trans young people’s experiences of youth work.

Paul Daly

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Paul manages the policy and research within LGBT Youth Scotland, leading on the Gender Recognition Act reform campaign which involves working in coalition with other leading charities in Scotland. Paul engages MSPs and Ministers on issues that young LGBTI people have highlighted as their main concerns and enables young LGBTI people’s voice to be heard by elected representatives. Paul also manages several clients who are going through the LGBT Charter.

Outside of work Paul is Chair of Friends of the Earth Scotland, and at weekends can be found wandering around the countryside with his dog Thelma.

Lee Cullen

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Lee leads the joint LGBTQ+ Youth Forum project in Northern Ireland on behalf of the lead partner Cara-Friend, as well as coordinating youth services delivered in the Belfast LGBT Centre.

Lee sits on a number of boards and committees representing the interests of young people in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom. They have worked extensively in the education, community and public sectors of Northern Ireland developing inclusion and diversity practices and youth policy for 6 years, and has worked directly supporting LGBTQ+ youth for 10 years.

Harri Weeks

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Harri currently works for The National LGB&T Partnership and is a member of NHS England Specialised Commissioning’s Gender Identity Services Programme Board and the Mayor of London’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group.

They have worked in the Education and Health sectors, within sector infrastructure and oversight bodies, unions, front-line organisations, and as an independent consultant, always specialising in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, with a particular focus on LGBTQ communities, gender, intersections of identity, and engagement with marginalised communities.

Dr Ali Hanbury

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Ali is a professionally qualified youth and community worker and has been working in local authority and charity settings since 2006. She currently work for The Proud Trust where she manages the LGBT+ Centre in Manchester and deliver the nationally recognised LGBT+ inclusive programme, Sexuality aGender.

She gained a Master’s Degree in Education and Society from Manchester Metropolitan University, and a PhD in Sociology from Lancaster University.

Finn Greig

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Finn is the lead of Youth Work at Gendered Intelligence. He leads on the 3 regions of youth work, including a team of 7 lead workers, 4 sessional youth workers and many regular volunteers as well as coordinating our annual residential trips and community youth work events.  Finn has been a youth worker for both local authority and voluntary sector for the past 12 years.

Finn identifies as trans masculine and uses he, him, his pronouns. Finn was a key founding member of GI and has also worked as a trans awareness trainer and creative workshop facilitator in schools, youth groups and professional settings.

Cara English

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Cara is the Policy Engagement Officer at Gendered Intelligence, one of the partner organisations for Queer Futures 2. She has previously worked in comms and campaigning around poverty.  Cara identifies as as a queer, trans woman.

Dr Amulya Nadkarni

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Dr Amulya Nadkarni is a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist working with a community CAMHS team in Lincolnshire and provides psychiatric input to the local Children’s Secure Unit.  He is also the Clinical Lead for the CAMHS Early Intervention in Psychosis service, one of the Medical Quality leads for the Lincs Partnership Trust and the Research Lead for the Trust’s Specialist Services Division.

He has academic links with Lincoln University and is an Honorary Lecturer in Healthcare. Despite his extensive experience in the field of child and adolescent mental health, he remains mystified by the logic behind most of the behaviours of his own children!

Louise Theodosiou

Louise is a Consultant Psychiatrist at Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Jane Davies

Jane is a Senior Mental Health Nurse Practitioner for Salford CAMHS – Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT).

Polly Blaydes

Polly works for Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and is the LGBT+ Staff Network Chair and Visible Leader.

Stephen Woods

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Stephen Woods is the Head of Service Improvement partnerships at NHS Salford CCG  and he leads on the following areas Children and Young People, Scheduled and Elective Care, Voluntary and Community Sector partnerships.

Stephen’s background is mainly in public Health having been the Assistant Director for the Cumbria and Lancashire Public Health Network and prior to that the Sexual Health Network lead for Cumbria and Lancashire. Stephen was the chair of the Lancashire Sexuality and Equality forum for a number of years and also chaired the Lancashire Navajo Group an LGBT Chartermark programme. Stephen was also Vice Chair of the Chorley and South Ribble Domestic Abuse Forum.

Emily Edwards

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Emily has worked as a commissioner for 20+ years, and over the past 4 years Emily has worked as the local authority emotional health and wellbeing lead and since 2018 as the Senior Integrated Commissioning Manager for both the Council and CCG.  Emily oversees Salford’s CAMHS Transformation Plan, Salford’s Thrive Partnership and leads on the 0-25 transformation programme for emotional health and Salford’s children and young people’s mental health commissioning.

In 2016, Salford set up an LGBT working group and commissioned The Proud Trust to undertake an important research and consultation project into the experiences and identified needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) young people in Salford and implications for tailored service provisions. This project has provided the foundation for continued work around improving the offer and mental health support for LGBT young people in Salford.

Andy Kerr

Andy is currently employed by NHS Liverpool CCG as a mental health commissioning/programme manager, after a long career in mental health service user participation. Chair of the Trustees of Young Persons’ Advisory Service and passionately committed to the rights of children and young people to realise their potential and their ambitions. Active member of Queer Notions, an organisation dedicated to improving the mental health and wellbeing of LGBT communities.

Queer Futures 2 Newsletter

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