About : Our Founder Thomas Anderson

Born and raised in the picturesque Northumberland market town Alnwick (30 miles north of Newcastle and 30 miles south of the Scottish border). His father is a former coal miner and farm worker and his mother a care worker. From a large traditional family, he has two sisters and a brother and lots of nieces and nephews. He is also a proud godfather to Kyle and Joey. He is engaged to his partner Matthew, who he has been in a relationship with since Summer 2010.

A lover of the ‘bright lights’ he moved to Manchester in 2008 following him being outed as being gay at the age of 25. Not wanting his sexuality to become the only thing people associated with him and living in an environment where being different wasn’t the easiest of things to be, Manchester was a big draw with it’s multi-cultural society and famous scene. Sexuality does not define everything about someone.

Thomas has been honoured to be shortlisted, and to have won a number of awards for his work in the diversity field. This has included being shortlisted for ‘Diversity Champion of the Year’ at the 2013 European Diversity Awards, shortlisted for ‘Role Model of the Year’ at the 2012 Lesbian & Gay Foundation Homo Heroes Awards and shortlisted for the ‘Positive Action’ award at the 2013 Asian Fire Service Association Fair & Diverse Awards. He was delighted to win the ‘Pride of The Co- operative’ award in 2012.

A regular contributor to publications, Thomas has written for and contributed articles for many media outlets, including, g3, Gay Star News, Stonewall’s ‘Friends’ magazine, Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index 5 Year Review research and publication, GScene and many resource guides.

He is a proud Ambassador for HIV charity George House Trust. Find out more about the charity at www.ght.org.uk

Thomas was a part of the original team who coordinated the award winning LGBT network for The Co-operative Group ‘Respect’. Thomas named the network and designed and managed all of the branding, communications and PR from 2010 until his stepping down from the role of Chair of the network in March 2014. He also created the branding, name, was Editor of the quarterly magazine and developed the launch of the UK’s first Inter-Retail LGBT network ‘CheckOUT’. During his role as Chair of the ‘Respect’ network it became the most followed employee network in Europe with over 9,400 followers on Twitter at the time of him departing (all within 15 months), and in his time over 1,400 employees became members of the network. It was also the most active network too, supporting over 85 events and raising over £30,000 for charities during his tenure.

Thomas left the network with The Co-operative ranking 3rd (for the second consecutive year) in the prestigious Stonewall Workplace Equality Index and being ranked the number one private sector employer for lesbian, gay and bisexual people. A big jump from the organisations ranking of 112th in the 2009 index before the network was created. The network, supported by a dedicated team of employee volunteers, certainly made a big impact.

Thomas launched Inclusive Networks on 20th October 2014.

Thomas is a keen journalist and has interviewed a diverse range of people including:

  • Evan Davis : Newsnight and Dragon’s Den
  • Heather Peace : Singer and actress
  • Alexandra Burke : Singer and musical theatre star
  • Darcy Oake : Illusionist
  • John Whaite : Great British Bake Off winner
  • Shayne Ward : Singer and musical theatre star
  • Val McDermid : Best-selling author
  • and many more…

    Connect with Thomas on Twitter

    Media and publications

    A selection of publications Thomas has written for and contributed to

    << ^^ Thomas contributed to the Stonewall ‘Workplace Equality Index Five Year Review’ that was published at the end of 2013. This was in his role as Chair of The Co-operative Group’s ‘Respect Network’.

    << As a big advocate for organisations supporting LGBT Pride events, Thomas was asked to contribute an article to leading news website Gay Star News in the Summer of 2012 – around the time that London Pride was experiencing significant issues, that are now thankfully behind them (they have a new team now). His article, ‘Pride is more than fanfares and floats’, was well received.

    Thomas has contributed to a number of workplace publications, including the 2014 edition of ‘OUT at Work’. >>

    << In 2012, leading North West England charity, The Lesbian & Gay Foundation (LGF), launched their ‘We Exist’ resources – a guide to getting involved in public life for lesbian, gay and bisexual people. Thomas was invited to be the contributor for the ‘Out At Work’ section.

    << Thomas was invited by Stonewall to contribute to their quarterly supporters magazine, ‘Friends’ (Winter 2013 edition). The article featured alongside the feature about the fantastic Stonewall guide, ‘Maintaining Network Group Momentum’, that Thomas also contributed a number of features for.

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