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Richard (he/him) and Julie (she/her)

LGBTQ + Role Model & Ally

Richard and Julie


I met Julie when I worked at the University the first time around at the age of 18. I distinctly remember the first time I met Julie in the Parkside West offices, I was immediately fascinated and drawn to her strong, confident yet playful and fabulous presence. Something within me knew on an intuitive level that this sparkling life force I was drawn to and inspired by was something special; as a young gay man coming from a small village and coming to terms with my sexuality, this was the kind of friend I needed, someone who held the key to helping me find myself and a new world before me.

Over 25 years later Julie did all those things, and has continued to be a constant sparking positive presence in my life, at times an anchor and always a sparkling wind behind my sails. Whatever we're doing in life, whether it's a mid-week lunch, partying in Benidorm, Blackpool or celebrating New Year in Bangkok, we have fun! In recent years, outside the University, Julie has taken on the role of a respite foster carer, and it fills me with pride and happiness to know that she will bring to the lives of young people the positivity and inspiration that I and many others see in her.


I met Richard when he started at the University as a modern apprentice, not quite 30 years ago. He struck me then as a young person with integrity, depth, perception. kindness in abundance, and a mature, intelligent sense of humour. Nothing much has changed. We connect because of our shared inclusive values, sense of humour and positive attitude to life and love.

Richard has a maturity beyond his years, and empathy by the bucket load. He is very easy company to be around, and considerate in his thoughts and deeds. He has warmly supported me throughout some dark times in my life and is encouraging and thoughtful. He is very much the yin to my yang. His work as an ordained minister for The Spiritualists' National Union is highly regarded and his professionalism is second to none.

I proudly stand united with Richard and all those who identify as LGBTQ+ to actively oppose prejudice and hate.

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