1039. Nicki Ryan
1040. Lucie Brooke
Nicki Ryan and Lucie Brooke, from London, co-founded the ‘Free2B Alliance’ to help young lesbian, gay, transgender and non-binary people and provide them with an inclusive space where they can meet like-minded people and challenge homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia.
The pair, who worked for Wandsworth Council as youth workers, decided in 2010 to create a youth club after seeing how much support they needed and couldn’t provide. Since then they have helped over 350 young people and expanded the club into the ‘Free2BAlliance’ which provides a safe, social space for young lesbian, gay, transgender and non-binary people to meet. Nicki and Lucie run annual trips to London Pride and Brighton Pride and also invite art therapists and speakers from Stonewall to lead events with the group’s young members. The pair also created ‘Free2Talk’, a 1:1 mentoring service their members aged 13-18 where they can talk about their self esteem, build their resilience, and talk about how they can achieve their goals. For many attendees, the ‘Free2B Alliance’ club is the only place they can truly be themselves.
In a personal letter to Nicki, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“The success of the ‘Free2BAlliance’ is a testament to your commitment to improving the lives of young people struggling with the unacceptable discrimination of homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia. Your one-to-one sessions with the group’s members are a real lifeline for those who often have no one else to turn to.”
In a personal letter to Lucie, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“You and Nicki have created an inclusive environment where hundreds of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and non-binary young people can make friends and share their experiences. Your commitment to improving inclusion and diversity in education and employment is remarkable and I wish you every success as you continue this important work.”
“It’s a great honour to have got this award. It feels that all our hard work and long hours is being acknowledged. I feel proud to receive this.”
“It is so fantastic to have all of our volunteered hours beyond our main roles, acknowledged and celebrated! It is a real honour to receive this award and to have our hard work recognised.”