Our spokespeople

Here is a summary of some of the people you can talk to in our organisation along with their interests and areas of expertise.

Rob Cookson, Director of Business Development

Rob Cookson

Rob joined The LGF in 2007, and is the Director of Business Development. A key part of Rob’s role is working with commissioners and wider stakeholders to highlight the health inequalities faced by lesbian, gay and bisexual people. Rob has a Masters in Community Practice, from Staffordshire University.

In his role at the LGF, Rob has played a leading role in developing a programmatic approach to sexual health. Key innovations include working with R U Clear, ensuring The LGF was the first LGB organisation in England to offer home sampling HIV kits for gay and bisexual men.

He has a long interest in addressing the range of health inequalities faced by LGB people, particularly the interconnectedness of issues like mental health, substance misuse and sexual health. Rob helps to shaped and influence local need through membership of the Greater Manchester Sexual Health Board and a range of local networks.

On a national level for sexual health, Rob is a member of the Trial Steering Group Committee for PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis). In addition to his role at the LGF, Rob is a Trustee of the LGB&T Consortium, which provides capacity building support for LGB&T voluntary & community groups.

Siân Payne, Director of Organisational Development

Sian Payne

Sian Payne has been Director of Organisational Development at the LGF since 2010.  In this role she ensures that the charity continues to be fit for purpose and best meet the needs of our service users, through ensuring we have appropriate people, the right structures and the right processes in place.

She has previously worked for Greater Manchester Police, Keele University, and Evidence Led Solutions, and has a background in research, engagement and community consultation.   

Sian is also the LGF’s representative member on the National LGB&T Partnership, which the LGF are the lead Partner and hold the Chair for.  She is also working with Macmillan Cancer to establish a national LGB&T task force for people living with and affected by cancer.   

Grahame Robertson, Resource & Information Manager / outnorthwest editor

Grahame Robertson

Grahame's background is in writing and producing sexual health resources for gay and bisexual men, and he joined The Lesbian & Gay Foundation in 1999 when the organisation was known as Healthy Gay Manchester.

Grahame has worked within the Communications team throughout his time at The LGF.

In his current role as Resource & Information Manager, Grahame is responsible for the 'forward facing' messages of the organisation and manages our social media outputs, our printed resources and the design function within The LGF.

Grahame is also Editor of outnorthwest magazine, The LGF's community magazine which has been published since 2000. During his 13 years as Editor, outnorthwest has become a trusted source of information for the LGB communities across the North West of England. 

Heather Williams, Policy & Research Manager

Heather Williams

Heather is Policy & Research Manager at The Lesbian & Gay Foundation, and has been working for the charity since 2010. She manages The LGF’s research programme, and how this then feeds into our policy work to influence key decision makers and ensure LGB&T needs are on the agenda locally and nationally.

This includes conducting original research, such as ‘Part of the Picture’, a study into LGB drug and alcohol use in partnership with the University of Central Lancashire, and maintaining the Evidence Exchange, a free online evidence base of LGB&T statistics.

The LGF’s policy programme includes; responding to consultations, meeting with service commissioners and providers to discuss meeting LGB&T needs and communicating public policy to the LGB&T community through policy briefings and engagement work. Alongside the Chief Executive and the Director of Organisational Development, Heather represents The LGF on the National LGB&T Partnership.  

Heather has a special interest in healthcare and the impacts of the new system on LGB people. 

Stacey Adams, Sexual Health Programme Manager

Stacey Adams

Stacey Adams manages the gay and bisexual men’s sexual health programme across Greater Manchester, as well as the HIV prevention England work that The LGF do as a key delivery partner in the North West.

Her specialist subjects include; youth work, STIs, contraception, training delivery as well as fitness and nutrition.

Stacey joined The LGF in 2013 and has had a link to sexual health and sexual health training delivery since she qualified as a peer educator with the Health Promotion Unit in Hastings in 1996.

Stacey also works part time for Salford Young Carers Project and does group work as well as providing 1:1 support.

Stacey is  currently in the early stages of recruitment to become a trustee with The Brunswick Centre, a charity that providessexual health and HIV services across Calderdale and Kirklees.

Siân Lambert, Women’s Programme Co-ordinator

Sian Lambert

Siân Lambert joined The Lesbian & Gay Foundation in November 2012 as the organisation’s first ever Women’s Programme Coordinator.

Within this role she is responsible for developing the services which The LGF offers to lesbian and bisexual women and increasing the number of women who access these services. She is also responsible for setting up the first national network of organisations who provide specialist services to lesbian and bisexual women.  

Siân has an interest in improving health outcome for lesbian and bisexual women and is currently working on a strategy aimed at raising awareness of health needs.

Siân has extensive experience of working in the third sector, having previous worked for several charities and arts organsiations. She also spent two years as the Policy & Community Development Officer at Leicester LGBT Centre, working with the community and with local organisations to improve support and services for LGBT people.