A Blackburn businessman has been honoured with the Freedom of the City of London for his services to equality in business and his outstanding contribution to gender equality nationally.

Lee Chambers, the psychologist and founder of Essentialise and Male Allies UK, was honoured with the Freedom of the City of London at a special ceremony at Mansion House last week.

He received the award from Lord Mayor Professor Michael Mainelli.

The Freedom of the City of London has been awarded since 1237, and is one of the oldest traditional ceremonies still in existence today.

Mr Chambers said: “It’s been a real journey since starting out in business in 2008, and this is a moment to cherish being recognised for my work across the country.

“Bringing Lancashire to London is something I’ve been active in doing over the past 10 years, so it is great to see that I’ve made a lasting impact.”

Mr Chambers joined a distinguished list of freemen, with recent honourees including football manager Roy Hodgson, Nobel Prize-winning mathematical physicist, Professor Sir Roger Penrose and theatre owner Dame Rosemary Squire.

Mr Chambers, from Wilpshire, was nominated for the Freedom by Lord Mayor, Professor Michael Mainelli, and City Corporation Alderman, Alastair King.

The ceremony at Mansion House was the first of its kind for 125 years, bringing honourees from different fields together to connect and prosper.

Lord Mayor Professor Michael Mainelli said: “Today’s ceremony embodies the essence of connectivity that underscores my mayoral theme.

“These people receiving the Freedom today are remarkable individuals who exemplify the City’s spirit of innovation and dedication, enriching the Square Mile’s diverse tapestry with their extraordinary contributions.”

City Corporation Alderman, Alastair King said: “It’s truly inspiring to witness the breadth of talent and expertise honoured today.

“These people not only excel in their respective fields but also embody the values that make our city vibrant and resilient. Their collective achievements highlight the power of collaboration and innovation in driving progress.”

This recognition comes at a busy time for Mr Chambers, as he prepares to hard launch Male Allies UK in the Autumn, and prepares for the publishing of his new book, Momentum: Reboot Your Career, Unlock Your Potential, in January 2025.