book, read, old

Broken Futures History Group

Our History Group, with the generosity of 15 community volunteers, have spent over 167 hours since Feb 2020 recovering this history from criminal records held at the Berkshire Record Office, and remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. To read more about their research, please visit the Online Exhibitions tab on the site menu.  

A massive thank you goes to the entire volunteer team who have throughout the project been energetic and passionate towards recollecting this history. Without their contributions and support, the Broken Futures project and research wouldn’t have been possible. 

We would like to thank the support of two Volunteer Voice Actors, Mikhail Franklin and Juliet England, for their contributions in bringing these stories to life.

meet the team


Amy graduated from the University of Reading with a First Class Law Degree in 2019; she is currently completing her Master’s Degree in Legal Research part-time. In 2018, Amy co-managed the pilot project, alongside George, for Broken Futures on an undergraduate research internship in connection with the University of Reading and the Berkshire Record Office. She started at Support U as a Frontline Officer in March 2019 and since December 2019 she has led the Broken Futures project.


George worked alongside Amy in the pilot project. After completing a master’s degree focusing on reconstructing the lives of men who had sex with men during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, he joined the Broken Futures project team. George’s interests lie mainly with the practicalities and ethics of using archival sources to reconstruct these lives, as well as how these stories can be used to inform our understanding of the legal proscription of sex between men.

Project Partners

The National Lottery Heritage Fund, partner to the National Lottery, focuses on supporting and developing heritage to inspire communities and promote cohesion. It supports organisations across the UK to deliver valued and necessary work in redeveloping heritage. We are so thankful to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for supporting this project!

Support U is an LGBT+ support and resource charity operating across Reading and the Thames Valley. Since it opened in 2011, it’s served over 30,000 enquiries and is best placed to provide support throughout the area on LGBT+ issues. The charity has been involved in two previous projects funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and continues to support that diversity matters!
The Berkshire Records Office holds all the county records for Berkshire. With over 900 years of archival history, the Records Office provides a wealth of services in researching the past. We are so grateful for their support throughout this project and specifically Mark Stevens, the Country Archivist, who essentially founded the ideas for this project.

Reading Museum has been displaying Reading’s history and art since 1883. They’ve have been committed supporters to Support U’s heritage and activism endeavours. Special thanks to Brendan Carr for diversifying the Reading Museum display and providing us with a venue for community talks!

Throughout Support U’s heritage research projects, the University of Reading has been a long standing supporter. They offer us invaluable resources and scholars working in the field of LGBT+ history. Dr Katherine Harloe, a co-creator of this project idea and liaision officer, has made such a big impact on the successes of the project and we are so grateful!
The Museum of English Rural Life works alongside diverse communities to explore rural history; they are passionate about ensuring their museums display capture the many narratives of the people they represent. Thanks to Isabel and Rhi for their commitment to the Broken Futures Project!

Support Partnerships

Queer Rural Connections

This fantastic project, led by Timothy Allsop and Dr Kira Allmann with the theare and education company, Turn of Phrase, will create a filmed documentary and live theatre piece to explore queer rural lives and connections. The project secured support by the University of Oxford’s, TORCH research centre in the humanities. With interesting and thought-provoking research provided by Broken Futures, MERL, Pride in Suffolk’s Past and other research projects, Queer Rural Connections will explore the recollection of queer rural stories and voices.

The Broken Futures project and team are excited to be work and support alongside Tim and the project leaders for Queer Rural Connections! To learn more about their project please click here.