Former Merseyside Police Assistant Chief Constable Julie Cooke has been presented with an award for her work in supporting the Merseyside Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) network.
Charity Stonewall handed out the accolade as part of the Workplace Equality Index Regional Awards for those who make a difference to workplaces, services and communities by displaying a strong commitment to LGBT equality.
Julie, who is now Deputy Chief Constable at Cheshire Police, was presented with the Senior Champion award – given to a senior executive from an organisation who is an LGBT+ Ally – for her work during her time at Merseyside Police.
Julie said: “I am absolutely delighted to receive the award for North West Senior Champion of the Year, it was definitely unexpected.
“I really enjoy working with the LGBT network. It is a group of people who want to improve the working environment for everyone. They constantly come up with new ideas and make it very easy for me to support them.
“Their contacts with partners and groups locally is second to none and their reach within the organisation is extensive. I am very proud to have had the privilege of working with the Merseyside LGBT network.”
Chief Constable Andy Cooke QPM said: “Julie has always been passionate about valuing difference, promoting inclusivity and encouraging everyone to think differently. She is the national police lead for LGBT+ and has driven discussion to make positive changes within Merseyside Police and beyond.
“I am pleased to see that her dedication to making a difference has now been formally recognised by the Stonewall charity.”
Sergeant Sean Harrison, Vice-Chair of the Merseyside Police LGBT+ Network, said: “This award is so well deserved and is in recognition of DCC Cooke’s commitment and tenacity in breaking down barriers not only across policing but within our diverse communities.
“We’re extremely proud of DCC Cooke’s achievement and whilst she will be greatly missed since her recent promotion to Cheshire Constabulary, we look forward to working with her nationally moving forward.”
Darren Towers, Stonewall’s Executive Director said: “Everyone who won an award yesterday is making a huge difference to workplaces, services and communities across the North West. With so many individuals displaying such a strong commitment to LGBT equality, we are one step closer to creating a world where all lesbian, gay, bi and trans employees are welcomed and accepted without exception.”