The actress plays Hayley Cropper in the ITV series and is one of
mainstream television's few long-running trans
Hesmondhalgh was there to showcase the work of the anti-homophobic
bullying project Exceeding Expectations, which is delivered by
Manchester City Council, Healthy Schools Manchester, Hope Theatre
Company, and The Lesbian & Gay Foundation.
It challenges the issue of homophobic bullying through
education, and - to date - has had a considerable impact in
Manchester schools, especially in helping them become more
The actress watched the Exceeding Expectations play OUTLOUD along
with the pupils, which is based on the stories and experiences of
young people across the city.
The event was opened by Parrswood Head Teacher Andy Shakos and
attended by over 150 of the school's pupils, some of whom talked
about the positive impact Exceeding Expectations has had.