help us find our

LGBT+ Local Heroes

As part of our UK Pride celebrations, we are launching our Local Heroes campaign – which aims to recognise those in the region who have made a significant contribution to the LGBT+ community over the last 50 years.


Successful nominees will be narrowed down by a panel of judges and voted on by the public, before winners are announced at a glittering ceremony at Tyne Theatre and Opera House on 22 May 2020.


Along with recognising the achievements of those nominated, guests at the evening do will also enjoy live performances and hear from a number of key note speakers.


Ste Dunn, chair of Northern Pride, believes the event will be a fantastic night with a powerful message.


“This year marks 50 years since the first Pride march and, as we celebrate the hard work and determination of those who fought to get us where we are today, I think it’s also important to recognise the contributions of those in our own region,” said Ste.


“That’s why we’re delighted to be hosting our very own Local Heroes campaign, to give something back to those who have made a huge impact on the LGBT+ community.


“We have a varied list of categories that cover a wide range of sectors, so we hope people will be encouraged to think about the inspiring people in their own lives – including those who were born here, moved here or are no longer with us – and put them forward for one of our awards.”


The seven categories cover contributions to education services, inclusivity in sport, health services or advancements in science, representation in arts, media and culture, breakthrough leadership, emergency services or Armed Forces, and community, faith or religious groups.

The categories are… 


Delivering safe spaces and Improved Educational Services for LGBT+ pupils or adult learners


Contributing towards Improvements in Health Services or Advancements in Science to provide a better quality of life for LGBT+ people


Leading the way in breaking down barriers and opening up opportunities for LGBT+ people to serve in our Emergency Services or Armed Forces.


Building cohesive connections between LGBT+ life and community, faith or religious groups.


Showcasing Inclusivity in Sport through new activities or opening up safe spaces for LGBT+ people


Encouraging LGBT+ people to grow and develop professionally via Breakthrough Leadership.


Driving a positive impact towards LGBT+ representation in arts, media and culture.

Our Process…


Nominations closes 3rd April


Shortlisted nominees will be released for the peoples vote 13th April and this will close 1st May


During this time all seven panelists will receive the shortlist and will judge each nomination, scoring them. Whilst each panellist represents a category, they will review all nominations


Celebration Ceremony will take place 22nd May at Tyne Theatre and Opera House

Meet our panel of judges

Cllr Veronica Dunn (she/her)

Newcastle City Council, Cabinet member for Education and Skills

Representing the Educational Services category

Veronica Dunn is a Labour Councillor for Byker Ward and was first elected in May 2007.  She holds the Education and Skills portfolio.

Veronica is responsible for ensuring that children and young people get the best start in life.  This includes ensuring good relationships with schools, safeguarding and children’s social care.  She is also responsible for the promotion of employment-related skills including apprenticeships.

In addition to being a Cabinet member, Veronica has committee responsibilities including Wellbeing for Life Board, Constitutional Committee and is a member of Byker Ward Committee and Voluntary Sector Liaison Group.  She represents the Council on the Newcastle Safeguarding Children’s Board.

She also sits on the Leazes Homes Board and the North East Purchasing Organisation Collaborative Sub Committee and is a Director of the Byker Company and is a substitute on the Cabinet of the Combined Authority.

Veronica worked as Assistant Education Officer with Newcastle City Council.  She was National President of Unison, the public service union, and was a member of the TUC General Council.

Veronica is married with a grown-up daughter and lives in St Peter’s Byker.

Wilson Martin sq

Martin Wilson (he/him)

Chief Operating Officer, The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals, NHS Foundation Trust

Representing the Health Services or Advancements in Science category

Martin is the chief operating officer of the outstanding Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, where he is responsible for the 15,000 staff who provide patient care in its hospitals and community services. He ensures that the trust delivers the highest possible standards of performance, and leads its partnership working with Newcastle City Council around integrated health and care services.

He was born and brought up in Newcastle and has held a range of senior roles in the NHS in the north east and in London.  He also held national roles at the Department of Health and Social Care and as a strategy consultant with McKinsey and Company. He is a registered nurse and a graduate of the NHS Management Training Scheme.

Martin lives with his partner Steve, who is Chief Executive of Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust.

kim sq

Kim McGuinness (she/her)

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner

Representing the Emergency Services or Armed Forces category

Kim McGuinness was elected as Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria in July 2019. Her successful campaign focused on tackling the root causes of crime, supporting victims, keeping communities safe and tackling hate crime.

Prior to this, Kim was a Labour Councillor for Newcastle City Council. She was also a cabinet member for Culture, Sports and Public Health, which saw her take a lead role in a variety of high-profile sporting, cultural and community-based events brought to the city.

Professionally, Kim has worked across a range of sectors including private finance and universities. More recently she held senior posts in educational and environmental charities where she gained considerable experience helping communities with issues and people with personal struggles.

Kim is passionate about our region and proud to call the North East her home – she was born and brought up in Newcastle upon Tyne, where she also attended University.

Kim is now the driving force behind Northumbria’s Violence Reduction Unit, committed to co-ordinating efforts between police and partners to find long-term solutions to address inequality and deprivation which will ultimately reduce crime and improving lives.

Kim has long been a supporter of Northern Pride as it stands for so much of what is important to Kim – diversity, equality, community and positivity.

Izzy sq

Canon Izzy McDonald-Booth (she/her)

Fundraiser and Community Volunteer

Representing the community, Faith or Religious Groups category

Izzy volunteers locally on various Church (of England) and charitable committees as a trustee and fundraiser. She especially enjoys getting involved in community projects – particularly when this improves the lives of people who are struggling in whatever way. Izzy is a Lay Canon of Newcastle Cathedral which means that she is part of a wider supporting team for the work of the Cathedral.

Along with being an elected representative of Newcastle Diocese on the General Synod and working for full inclusion for LGBTQI+ people in the church, she is also involved with her employer, University of Sunderland in their ongoing work on inclusion and equality.

lucy sq

Lucy Oliver (she/her)

Head of Inclusion, Newcastle United

Representing the Inclusivity in Sport category

Panelist bio coming soon…


Wayne Measor (he/him)

Managing Director of Product Control for Barclays UK

Representing the Breakthrough Leadership category

Wayne joined Barclays in 1988 at his local branch in Teesside, and has blended his career between frontline and Head Office roles including scale leadership of Branches, Contact Centres, and functional teams whilst delivering transformational change of business processes.

He is Executive Sponsor for Barclays LGBT+ Spectrum Network in the North.

Carol Bell OBE sq

Carol Bell OBE (she/her)

Director, Major Events and Festivals, NewcastleGateshead Initiative

Representing the Representation in Arts, Media and Culture category

Carol Bell is a cultural leader with a strong track record of creating transformational programmes, commissioning large scale cultural programmes for venues, outdoors festivals and events.

Throughout her career she has developed and delivered many complex capital and revenue cultural projects. As NewcastleGatesheads’s Director of Major Festivals & Events, Carol has lead on a number of successful bids for events including the World Transplant Games 2019 and NewcastleGateshead’s successful bid to host Great Exhibition of the North which resulted in Newcastle and its partner town Gateshead being listed by the Rough Guide as the No1 Place to Visit in the World in 2018. Prior to that she worked for the Northern Rock Foundation – through its philanthropy – supporting many cultural organisations across the North East, as well as managing one of the first NE funds to support LBGT projects.

Carol was identified by Arts Council England as one of the top 100 “Women to Watch” in 2010 and was awarded an OBE in the 2019 Queens Birthday Honours, for services to the Arts throughout her career to date.