Sarah Stephenson-Hunter, Disability Advisor at the University of Nottingham, has been awarded Stonewall’s East Midlands Role Model of the Year.
Stonewall campaigns for the equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people across Britain.
Sarah has given a number of talks across Nottinghamshire about her experiences of being trans. These include her delivery of a keynote address at the 2016 and 2017 Nottingham Partnership Conference to people working across Nottinghamshire.
As part of LGBT History Month 2017 she visited Vision West Nottinghamshire College and gave a talk to two groups of students on being an intersectional role model.
More recently in April 2018, Sarah spoke at the annual Stonewall European Workplace Conference as part of a keynote panel discussion on trans inclusion in the workplace.
Alongside her speaking, Sarah is a Community Role Model for Nottinghamshire Police, an active member of the University of Nottingham’s Trans Working Party and a member of the steering group and trustee for Notts Trans Hub and Trans Space Notts.
In October 2017 Sarah also raised around £500 for Stonewall by running the Royal Park Half Marathon, an achievement which featured in the summer 2017 Stonewall Friends Magazine.
Sarah said: ‘I’m really honoured to have received this award which recognises the work I’ve done to raise awareness of what it means to be trans and disabled. For me being a role model is an active choice I’ve made to be open and transparent about the challenges faced by LGBT people in the workplace and society as a whole. I’ve been really fortunate to receive excellent support throughout my transition from the University of Nottingham and if winning this award means I can show others that being trans and/or disabled shouldn’t be a barrier to living as full a life as is possible, then that’s fantastic.”
Louise Knott, Vice Principle for Communication, Engagement and Student Experience at Vision West Nottinghamshire College said: “Sarah is one of the most inspirational speakers that the college has had. Students hung off her every word. Not only is Sarah’s personal journey remarkable, the lessons that students took from it have enabled some of them to come to terms with their own identity and disabilities. It is unusual in a group of 16 year olds to be able to hear a pin drop but that is exactly what happened when Sarah visited.”
Sarah concluded: “Things have come a long way in terms of trans awareness but there’s still a lot to be done and I’m fully committed to doing whatever I can to bring about true equality in this area.”
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