To coincide with International Day Against Homophobia on May 17th, Coronation Street star Antony Cotton has gathered fellow cast members to support Exceeding Expectations, Manchester’s initiative to end homophobia through education.

Over the next three years Exceeding Expectations will support more than 12,000 education professionals with appropriate interventions, resources, training and advice on homophobia and sexuality.

The project, which is aimed at secondary schools throughout the city, is a collaboration between the Lesbian and Gay Foundation (LGF), Manchester City Council Children’s Services, Manchester Healthy Schools Partnership and Hope Theatre Company.

Antony, who plays Rovers Return barman Sean Tully, has long been a supporter of the city’s LGF.

When asked to sign up to the initiative, made sure to get fellow Corrie pals to sign a pledge to support the project on a sunny afternoon in Weatherfield.

Julie Hesmondhalgh, who plays Hayley Cropper in the soap, is a patron of The LGF and was also on hand to support the initiative along with other Corrie favorites.

Tupele Dorgu (Kelly Crabtree), Rupert Hill (Jamie Baldwin), Rob James Collier (Liam Connor), Alison King (Carla Connor), Wendi Peters (Cilla Battersby-Brown), Jenny Platt (Violet Wilson) and Kim Ryder (Michelle Connor) all took time out of their busy schedule to sign the Exceeding Expectations pledge to end homophobia through education.

Returning to the soap and joining the team in signing the pledge, was Denise Black who appeared with Antony Cotton in the original groundbreaking UK series Queer as Folk. She was also with Antony at last weekend’s Stonewall Equality Walk in Brighton, which raised over £40,000.

Exceeding Expectations are looking for colleagues in Manchester schools to sign up as champions for the initiative.

For more information email:exceedingexpectations@lgf.org.uk