When we heard the story of Manchester duo, Billy Tusker and Tiago Muniz, spreading joy and smiles through specific communities in need this year, we wanted to say thank you. The pair were nominated as part of our Share a Smile campaign back in November, by close friend Clare McNulty who wanted to say thank you for all they have done, for her and the wider community.
When the first national lockdown came into force in March, the pair recognised that it could lead to some of Manchester’s LGBTQI+ population feeling even more isolated, with vulnerable members, that used LGBTQI+ spaces and community groups to meet and socialise, separated for a prolonged period of time.
To combat this, Billy and Tiago worked tirelessly to develop a connected network of LGBTQI+ people who could identify difficulties that individuals faced within their own unique circumstances, creating a close network of people that could support each other whenever it was needed.
From picking up prescriptions to delivering food parcels and hosting disabled-friendly and socially distanced walks when lockdown was eased, the pair went above and beyond to make sure that nobody was left alone, doing everything they could to keep the close-knit community happy and healthy.
For people like Clare, who were shielding, this helped provide vital support in making sure they stayed connected throughout this challenging period.
Clare McNulty, close friend of Billy and Tiago said:
“Billy and Tiago are two very special people. They care so much about our community, and as I’ve been quite poorly throughout the pandemic, they’ve helped me navigate the difficult times whilst keeping me sane and laughing. The way that they’ve taken the time to research, not only my illness but also how others within the LGBTQI+ community have been affected, is amazing. They really are agents of positive change and I’m so glad that PizzaExpress has acknowledged this pair’s thoughtfulness.”