Proud Changemakers

Proud Changemakers

We are Proud Changemakers - a group of LGBTQIA+ folks who are here to celebrate and elevate LGBTQIA+ voices across civil society - whilst also talking through todays issues from an LGBTQIA+ lens. In 2024 we will have a podcast, community network, events and more with the hope of giving LGBTQIA+ folks the space to be themselves and help each other thrive. Why? Because the world isn't a safe and healthy place for LGBTQIA+ folks right now - and hasn't ever been tbh. So here's a space made by LGBTQIA+ people for LGBTQIA+ people and our allies. read less
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Episodes

Lesbian Visibility Week: What does the word lesbian mean to you?
24-04-2024
Lesbian Visibility Week: What does the word lesbian mean to you?
To celebrate Lesbian Visibility Week 2024 (happening from 22-28 April), two of our Proud Changemakers - Paige Hughes (she/her) and Lucy Straker (she/they) are bringing to you an episode all about lesbians. So that’s the word lesbian, how it came to be (looking at lesbian history from Sappho, to Anne Lister through to Ellen DeGeneres and beyond), what being gay/a lesbian means to us and what we've learnt and experienced along the way. We aim to be educational, spicy and humorous - plus throw in a few mic drop moments too. We do discuss our personal experiences, different types of lesbian pop culture and the tensions within the LGBTQIA+ community. Please note that Proud Changemakers is a trans inclusive organisation and always will be. Trigger warning - there are a couple of references to a gender based attack but no details are shared. "Lesbian identity is strong and activist orientated. At it's heart it’s inclusive, radical and anti-patriarchy. I think it’s pretty beautiful." Paige Hughes (she/her) Paige is a strategist and consultant for charities, placemakers and small businesses. She has 10+ years of experience in business development, marketing and communications. Paige has a degree in Politics from the University of Leeds, and an MSc in Place Management and Leadership, delivered by the Institute of Place Management at Manchester Metropolitan University, Until recently, Paige was the Head of Business Development and Engagement for national membership organisation, CharityComms and now works freelance with charities, place-makers and small business owners, balancing strategic consultancy, creative coaching and hands-on delivery. See her website here. Paige has had multiple volunteering roles, including a Trustee for a charity that supports people with Autism, mentorship and coaching for young professionals, a group lead at an LGBTQ charity, and has been a national EDI lead. "I have negative connotations with the word lesbian as it has regularly been used in a derogatory way towards me. So I have always had a stronger connection to the word gay so that’s the one I use to describe myself." Lucy Straker (she/they) ⁠Lucy ⁠is the Campaigns Manager for Brake, the road safety charity. Here Lucy leads on the charity’s national campaigns which can include calling for new legislation to support all road users, raising public awareness of road dangers or advocating for road crash victims. Lucy is also a public speaker and trainer on creating inclusive workplaces specifically regarding the LGBTQIA+ community. Lucy has co-founded and led a number of inclusion networks and activism groups across the voluntary sector during their 17 years of communications and campaigning work in the sector. What are your thoughts around the word lesbian, its culture, identity etc? Reach out, get in touch - and you could be on our next lesbian pod! https://linktr.ee/proudchangemakers Music was by ⁠Vitaliy Levkin⁠ from ⁠Pixabay⁠
Challenging the misinformation and stigma around HIV
11-04-2024
Challenging the misinformation and stigma around HIV
This was recorded at the offices of SAYiT - an LGBTQIA+ youth charity in Sheffield and includes the expert knowledge of Dr Naomi Sutton (she/her), Liz Wilson (she/her) and Dr Jo Bassett (she/her) discussing why we need to remove the fear, stigma and general lack of understanding of HIV. Dr Naomi Sutton - "My issue is the word AIDS. I really don't like that word because of the campaign. I think we really need to start saying people with HIV. Language is really important" Liz Wilson - "There were two things going on that made it hard to tackle. The fear and stigma around HIV itself and the way that the government dealt with it, I think, encouraged that fear and stigma." Dr Jo Bassett on taking Prep - "There's a lot of education around that really needs to get out there". In this episode we talk about the how the UK responded in the 1980s when AIDS/HIV first came into our society, and then move onto how some of that misinformation remains even today when we now know so much more about it. If you have any questions about topics raised in this episode, or you would like to join us for another episode on this topic or something else related to the LGBTQIA+ community then get in touch with us at https://linktr.ee/proudchangemakers. We always love to hear from you. Please remember to rate, review and subscribe as it helps others find the podcast. Please show your support to SAYiT who are a fabulous charity who have helped us tremendously in our first year. https://www.sayit.org.uk/ Music was by ⁠Vitaliy Levkin⁠ from ⁠Pixabay⁠ Proud Changemakers exists to empower the LGBTQIA+ voluntary sector and civil society leaders of tomorrow. The community supports and champions LGBTQIA+ and other leaders and civil society organisations. Proud Changemakers is a community, a network and a group, organised and coordinated by volunteers. This is a new, emerging and developing community, which welcomes new members, connections, funders and supporters.
How charities are responding to transphobic hate
27-03-2024
How charities are responding to transphobic hate
Trigger warning - this episode contains references to transphobia We spoke with a lovely bunch of humans on how some charities are dealing with transphobic hate - either because they are trans-focused charities or they are simply including trans people in their dialogue. Speaking up in support of the trans community is important - but staying spoken when the vocal minority use online platforms to target you, is even more important. In this episode, our host Graysen Whittaker (he/they) starts by speaking to fellow Proud Changemaker and former CEO of Birthrights, Amy Whitelock Gibbs (she/her) about how the organisation stood its ground when faced with transphobic hate. This was after they changed their language to reference women and pregnant people. We then hear from Zoe Amar (she/her), of Zoe Amar Digital, about how she supported Amy during this period of crisis communications. Plus we get valuable insight from Carrie Lyell (they/them), Head of Digital and Communications at Mermaids, and Chay Brown (he/him), Director of Healthcare and Operations at Transactual on how they are managing the hate they receive online. We hope that by listening to this, more charities, people, organisations, groups will speak up and stay spoken for the trans community who deserve better than to face this abuse on a regular basis and on such mainstream platforms. We plan to do more episodes like this with some other fab charities who are doing excellent work in this area. So if you are one of those charities or know one - do get in touch at proudchangemakers@gmail.com. We are also on socials at: X - @proud_changeLinkedInInstagram - @proud_change Or head to our link.tree for all the ways you can get to us.
Why LGBTQIA+ inclusive mental health support is so vital
13-03-2024
Why LGBTQIA+ inclusive mental health support is so vital
**Please note - in this episode there is mention of crisis, therapy experiences that are not safe to come out to the professional and feelings around struggling in the current climate with LGBTQIA+ people being politicised. Ever had your sexual or gender orientation assumed? What if the person assuming was supposed to be creating a psychological safe space for you? What if you didn't have the capacity or energy to correct them? Good mental health is so important for everyone on this planet. But as LGBTQIA+ people we can experience additional barriers to mental health support. That’s why it is so vital that we find spaces where we can be ourselves, be vulnerable, and find the right person who can truly empathise and understand our needs. This is why we spoke Leeds LGBT+ Minds group who are co-producing support services for LGBTQIA+ people by LGBTQIA+ patients and practitioners. Please do listen to Beth Stepan (she/her), Uzayr Khan (he/him) and Noah Roberts (they/them) as they discuss their experiences with mental health services and how they are producing a Zine for the Leeds LGBTQIA+ community to help everyone access the mental health support they need. Beth Stepan (she/her), Coproduction Coordinator - Leeds Mental Wellbeing Service [pronounced b-EH-th steh-PAN] "I've been working at Leeds Mental Wellbeing Service for four years now, and the most important part of my role for me has always been to work towards better inclusion and accessibility for everyone. As a queer person with my own experience of mental health difficulties and using services, I was keen to be involved in the Leeds LGBT+ Minds project from the start. In my current role, I'm coordinating the project and grateful to connect with others and share peer support, creativity and activism." Email Beth at bstepan@touchstonesupport.org.uk Uzayr Khan (he/him), Student volunteer [pronounced Uz-air Khan] "As a queer POC, every day feels like a fight for representation. I see more queer people around me than before, but I don’t relate to most. It takes the efforts of people like Tan France to fuel us with the drive to put more of ourselves out there. "It’s hard, but it’s necessary. We exist and I am here to prove we aren’t going anywhere. I know what it’s like to feel like you’re not in control of your life, coming from a not so accepting secondary school and struggling to find my place within my family. "I know what having someone like me in a podcast would’ve meant for younger me, so I do this for him. He’s seen, he’s heard and he’s accepted, just as we all deserve to be." Find Uzayr on Instagram. Daisy Chain (their Zine) is available here. Here is a link to Switchboard the national LGBTQIA+ support line should you need any support. Have a question or want to learn more about Proud Changemakers? Then reach out to us across any of our networks at ⁠⁠https://linktr.ee/proudchangemakers⁠⁠ Music was by ⁠⁠Vitaliy Levkin⁠⁠ from ⁠⁠Pixabay⁠⁠ Proud Changemakers exists to empower the LGBTQIA+ voluntary sector and civil society leaders of tomorrow. The community supports and champions LGBTQIA+ and other leaders and civil society organisations. Proud Changemakers is a community, a network and a group, organised and coordinated by volunteers. This is a new, emerging and developing community, which welcomes new members, connections, funders and supporters. Proud Changemakers aims to: Champion and support LGBTQIA+ leaders, staff and volunteers and organisations  Provide advice, guidance and support to educate non-LGBTQIA+ leaders and organisations  Create and improve cultures of inclusion and belonging for all LGBTQIA+ staff and volunteers, and organisations  Provide a safe space and community for LGBTQIA+ people, to celebrate each others’ achievements, demonstrate solidarity and share learning and experiences.
LGBTQ+ History Month: Going to school during Section 28
28-02-2024
LGBTQ+ History Month: Going to school during Section 28
Come and listen to the latest of our LGBTQ+ History Month episodes! For this we recorded a panel discussion hosted by our friends at SAYiT at Sheffield Central Library between a group of LGBTQIA+ folks who attended school during Section 28. The discussion covers topics such as how each one of the panel navigated understanding their sexual orientation at a time when having any affiliation with the LGBTQIA+ community was socially rejected, where they each found their connections to the community - books, the club scene, dancing, music, theatre, the arts etc. and then asked the all important question - who did you pretend to fancy to appear heterosexual? ] There are a couple of trigger warnings - there is a story about being outed to parents by the school which is upsetting and there stories shared which demonstrate biphobia within the community (a topic we will be talking more about very soon). A big thank you to SAYiT - a charity based in Sheffield which works with young people aged 8-25 and professionals to provide practical support to LGBTQ+ young people, host parent and carer groups, and trains organisations improve knowledge and address discrimination. You can find out more about SAYiT here. The podcast was produced, edited and hosted by the Proud Changemakers team who are all lovely volunteers and whose names are Amy Whitelock Gibbs (she/her), Becky Emery (she/her), Catherine Goodall (she/her), Cathy Swift (she/her), Claudia Baldacchino (they/them), Ellis Black (they/them), Graysen Whittaker (he/they), Lucy Straker (she/they) and Paige Hughes (she/her). Please rate, review, subscribe, email us, follow us, report us, ask us out for coffee, whatever. We love to chat (that's why we run a podcast) and we also do so much more than this. Email is proudchangemakers@gmail.com and click here to find others ways to see us, engage with us etc. Find out what we do by getting in touch! And remember no matter what life throws at you - be proud, stand together and make change. Music was by ⁠⁠⁠Vitaliy Levkin⁠⁠⁠ from ⁠⁠⁠Pixabay⁠⁠.
LGBTQ+ History Month: What is the 'bury your gays' project?
15-02-2024
LGBTQ+ History Month: What is the 'bury your gays' project?
Listen to the second of our LGBTQ+ History Month episodes! In this we have SAYiT's Fiona Moorcroft (she/her) and Oliver Harrap (he/him) discussing their project - 'bury your gays' - where they research the cemeteries and archives in Sheffield to see who and what LGBTQIA+ history they could find. They were inspired by a similar project that ran in Birmingham - so if you are interested in following them and doing some LGBTQIA+ history research in your local area please get in touch. The podcast was recorded at the offices of SAYiT - a charity based in Sheffield which works with young people aged 8-25 and professionals to provide practical support to LGBTQ+ young people, host parent and carer groups, and trains organisations improve knowledge and address discrimination. You can find out more about SAYiT here. The podcast was produced, edited and hosted by the Proud Changemakers team who are all lovely volunteers and whose names are Amy Whitelock Gibbs, Becky Emery, Catherine Goodall, Cathy Swift, Claudia Baldacchino, Ellis Black, Graysen Whittaker, Lucy Straker and Paige Hughes. Please rate, review, subscribe, email us, follow us, report us, ask us out for coffee, whatever. We love to chat (that's why we run a podcast) and we also do so much more than this. Email is proudchangemakers@gmail.com and click here to find others ways to see us, engage with us etc. Find out what we do by getting in touch! And remember no matter what life throws at you - be proud, stand together and make change. Music was by ⁠⁠⁠Vitaliy Levkin⁠⁠⁠ from ⁠⁠⁠Pixabay⁠⁠
LGBTQ+ History Month: Being northern, working class and gay in the 1900s
01-02-2024
LGBTQ+ History Month: Being northern, working class and gay in the 1900s
Join us for the first of our LGBTQ+ History Month episodes! In this we have SAYiT's Fiona Moorcroft interviewing Dr Helen Smith, University of Lincoln, who is a historian specialising in LGBTQ+ history in the working class communities of South Yorkshire. During this episode we discuss what it was like to be LGBTQIA+ from the 1850s to 1960s in South Yorkshire where the majority of people were working class, what the regional attitudes and culture differences were between different parts of the UK, and how hard it is to research LGBTQIA+ women in history. This is the first part of the interview with Dr Helen Smith (with part two coming out later in the year) who has also written a book on this topic called 'Masculinity and same sex desires in industrial England 1895-1957' which you can see here (but be warned its a tad expensive). You can find our more about Dr Helen Smith here. SAYiT is a charity based in Sheffield which works with young people aged 8-25 and professionals to provide practical support to LGBTQ+ young people, host parent and carer groups, and trains organisations improve knowledge and address discrimination. You can find out more about SAYiT here. The podcast was produced, edited and hosted by the Proud Changemakers team who are Catherine Goodall, Cathy Swift, Graysen Whittaker, Amy Whitelock Gibbs and Lucy Straker. Please rate, review, subscribe, email us, follow us, report us, ask us out for coffee, whatever. We love to chat (that's why we run a podcast) and we also do so much more than this. Find out what we do by getting in touch! And remember no matter what life throws at you - be proud, stand together and make change. Music was by ⁠⁠⁠Vitaliy Levkin⁠⁠⁠ from ⁠⁠⁠Pixabay⁠⁠
Meet the Proud Changemakers team
17-01-2024
Meet the Proud Changemakers team
Come and say hello to the Proud Changemakers team! In this episode, we - the Proud Changemakers team - got together to talk about why we set up Proud Changemakers, what our hopes and aspirations are, what we are really excited about and what we have already gained. So who are we? We are Amy Whitelock Gibbs (she/her), Catherine Goodall (she/her), Cathy Swift (she/her), Graysen Whittaker (he/they) and Lucy Straker (she/they). Catherine is a Policy and Influencing Manager at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO). In this role she leads influencing work on government policy relating to volunteering. She works closely with stakeholders across the voluntary sector, using evidence and insight to create positive change. Lucy is the Campaigns Manager for Brake, the road safety charity. Here Lucy leads on the charity’s national campaigns which can include calling for new legislation to support all road users, raising public awareness of road dangers or advocating for road crash victims. Lucy is responsible for creating and delivering the charity’s campaign strategy plus is one of the key media spokespeople. Graysen worked in the charitable sector for their first salaried employment and progressed into the position of LGBT+ Service Development Manager for a charity in Kent called Porchlight. Graysen also worked for City, University of London as Senior EDI Officer: Gender and LGBTQI+, striving to support the institution more equitable for LGBTQI+ people and women. Graysen has been a Board of Trustees member of Mosaic, LGBT+ Young Persons’ Trust for two years, and is currently the Vice Chair of this Board. Have a question or want to learn more about Proud Changemakers? Then reach out to us across any of our networks at ⁠https://linktr.ee/proudchangemakers⁠ Music was by ⁠Vitaliy Levkin⁠ from ⁠Pixabay⁠ Proud Changemakers exists to empower the LGBTQIA+ voluntary sector and civil society leaders of tomorrow. The community supports and champions LGBTQIA+ and other leaders and civil society organisations. Proud Changemakers is a community, a network and a group, organised and coordinated by volunteers. This is a new, emerging and developing community, which welcomes new members, connections, funders and supporters. Proud Changemakers aims to: Champion and support LGBTQIA+ leaders, staff and volunteers and organisations  Provide advice, guidance and support to educate non-LGBTQIA+ leaders and organisations  Create and improve cultures of inclusion and belonging for all LGBTQIA+ staff and volunteers, and organisations  Provide a safe space and community for LGBTQIA+ people, to celebrate each others’ achievements, demonstrate solidarity and share learning and experiences.   Proud Changemakers was formed in 2023.
Building a LGBTQIA+ staff network with NCVO
02-01-2024
Building a LGBTQIA+ staff network with NCVO
Ever wanted to build a network for LGBTQIA+ staff in your organisation but were unsure where to start? In this first episode of the Proud Changemakers podcast, we talk to Ed Drew (he/him), Rei Kanemura (she/her) and Amy Walton (she/her) who are the architects of NCVO's Rainbow Network - a staff network for LGBTQIA+ folks and allies - which has 25% of NCVO staff as its members. NCVO is the National Council for Voluntary Organisations and is the membership body for charities, voluntary organisations and community groups in England. In this episode, we discuss why they set up the network, what were the challenges and lessons learned, their messages to anyone thinking of setting up a network and how we can expand this kind of peer support to those in small charities who may be the only LGBTQIA+ person in their organisation. Guest bio: Rei is a former co-lead of NCVO's Rainbow Network as well as Research and Insight Manager and is currently a Senior Researcher at NatCen. There's not a letter in LGBTQ+ that represents her, but she considers herself an ultimate ally. She firmly believes in the power of alliance and in the role of allies in fighting for LGBTQ equality. She is also a researcher with decades of experience in research for the voluntary sector, and outside work, she is busy raising her small Rainbow family. Proud Changemakers: This podcast is hosted by Catherine Goodall (she/her) and Lucy Straker (she/they). Catherine is a Policy and Influencing Manager at NCVO. In this role she leads influencing work on government policy relating to volunteering. She works closely with stakeholders across the voluntary sector, using evidence and insight to create positive change. Catherine has long been involved in supporting the LGBTQIA community. She has been involved in developing and leading staff networks at several organisations, and volunteering in the wider community. Lucy is the Campaigns Manager for Brake, the road safety charity. Here Lucy leads on the charity’s national campaigns which can include calling for new legislation to support all road users, raising public awareness of road dangers or advocating for road crash victims. Lucy is also a public speaker and trainer on creating inclusive workplaces specifically regarding the LGBTQIA+ community. Lucy has co-founded and led a number of inclusion networks and activism groups across the voluntary sector during their 15 years of communications and campaigning work in the sector. Have a question or want to learn more about Proud Changemakers? Then reach out to us across any of our networks at https://linktr.ee/proudchangemakers Music was by Vitaliy Levkin from Pixabay Proud Changemakers exists to empower the LGBTQIA+ voluntary sector and civil society leaders of tomorrow. The community supports and champions LGBTQIA+ and other leaders and civil society organisations. Proud Changemakers is a community, a network and a group, organised and coordinated by volunteers. This is a new, emerging and developing community, which welcomes new members, connections, funders and supporters. Proud Changemakers aims to: Champion and support LGBTQIA+ leaders, staff and volunteers and organisations  Provide advice, guidance and support to educate non-LGBTQIA+ leaders and organisations  Create and improve cultures of inclusion and belonging for all LGBTQIA+ staff and volunteers, and organisations  Provide a safe space and community for LGBTQIA+ people, to celebrate each others’ achievements, demonstrate solidarity and share learning and experiences.   Proud Changemakers was formed in 2023 by Catherine Goodall, Lucy Straker, Cathy Swift, Amy Whitelock Gibbs and Graysen Whittaker.