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Tue, 27/04/2021

Young people in Knowsley recognised by National Diversity Awards 

Vibe is delighted to announce several nominations for Knowsley in the prestigious National Diversity Awards. 

We are now asking for the local community to get behind us and put Knowsley on the map! 

Vibe’s Be Yourself group has been nominated for the Community Organisation (LGBT) Award. The Be Yourself group is a safe space for young people aged 11-19 in Knowsley who identify as being part of the LGBTQIA+ community. The group welcomes and supports young people as they explore and come to terms with their identity, advocating for LGBTQIA+ young people. 

Helen McGorrin, Youth Worker from Be Yourself said: 

“Be Yourself is currently the only active LGBTQIA+ provision in Knowsley. At one time there was another active ‘Queer Youth’ group but unfortunately, they had to move on from the area. To ensure their young people still had access to support, Be Yourself offered a partnership and opened up their rented space to make sure that no young person was left without a place to go. I am delighted to receive this nomination in recognition of the fantastic work our young people have achieved in creating a safe space for all young people in the LGBTQIA+ community.” 

Two of Vibe’s young people have also been nominated. Abi Kirkby (17) has been nominated in the Positive Role Model (Age) category, for her outstanding contribution to social action across the borough.  

Around her A-level commitments, Abi is a Knowsley Young Advisor, represents youth voice on the Children’s and Families Board, is the current Vice-Chair at Knowsley Youth Cabinet, a POSH (Pioneer for Sustainable Hope) ambassador and has set up and is the founder of her schools Eco Committee, championing sustainability and planet-friendly initiatives. One of the other schemes Abi developed was to tackle fast fashion, she set up a swap shop in school where people could donate their old uniforms, P.E kits or other clothing and students could rent them for a small cost to cover the price of washing, not only was this helpful to the environment but also offered students an alternative option if they struggled to afford new uniforms. 

As a POSH ambassador Abi has completed a beach clean, got young people and decision-makers involved in making pledges to help the environment, distributed reusable straws to reduce plastic waste, featured in a climate change video that was shown to local councillors to encourage them to put steps in place to make Knowsley greener, developed and delivered sessions to young people and families around recycling and made seed bombs with them to spread in the local community. 

Dean Leake (18) has been nominated in the Positive Role Model (LGBT) category for his commitment to championing young people across Knowsley and the wider Liverpool City Region. 

Dean is on the autistic spectrum and identifies as part of the LGBTQIA+ community, understanding how it can feel to be marginalised with a lack of representation. He uses a range of platforms to raise awareness on important issues such as politics, racism, hate crime and LGBT+ rights through writing, radio and vlogging. As a guest on BBC Radio 5 Question Time, Dean has represented the voice of young people and brought to attention the feelings of LGBTQIA+ young people, how they are coping during the pandemic, and the negative repercussions of exams being cancelled affect young people in our region.  

Dean is also known on the airways locally, as part of two local radio shows that he planned and hosted, one was a Politics and current affairs show where he recapped stories from the week, delved into politics and covered different topics of interest. The other show was ‘Out There’ which had an LGBT focus. These shows discussed difficult topics at a level that was understandable and relatable to other young people in Knowsley, educating them on things outside of the current school curriculum.  

Finally, Project Lead for Open Access, Lauren Burke has been nominated in the Positive Role Model Category, for her contribution to youth work across Knowsley. 

Nominated by her colleagues “Lauren plays a key role in keeping young people and the community safe and engaged, she works with local community centres, Police, CSO’s and schools to develop street-based sessions to keep young people out of trouble and involved in positive activities, working with these partners collecting intel and concentrating efforts on local hotspots. Lauren works with young people directly on the streets helping prevent anti-social behaviour and promotes opportunities for them to get involved with. Being from Knowsley herself Lauren has lots of knowledge of the area and local families providing a friendly face for people to come to.” 

Vibe is delighted to be recognised by the National Diversity Awards, and hope as many people in Knowsley get behind our nominees by voting! Nominations close on Friday 4 June, with the awards ceremony taking place at the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral in February 2022.  

About the National Diversity Awards  

The National Diversity Awards – a prestigious black-tie event, which celebrates the excellent achievements of grass-roots communities that tackle the issues in today’s society, giving them recognition for their dedication and hard work. 


Here is a step-by-step guide on how to vote: 

  • Visit 

  • Type the name of your chosen nominee in the ‘Nominee Search’ bar and select enter 

  • Select the correct profile (The link shown at the top of the page is the nominees direct voting link) 

  • Complete the form and validate your vote via email