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07
Jul

Albert Kennedy Trust anniversary

akt logo 25Today (7 July) marks the 25th anniversary of the UK's LGBT youth homelessness charity, The Albert Kennedy Trust (AKT) This landmark has been celebrated with a reception at Manchester Town Hall hosted by Lord Mayor of the City of Manchester, councilor Susan Cooley.
Created in Manchester out of the LGBT activism of the 70's and 80's, a group of volunteers, led by Cath Hall, launched the Albert Kennedy Trust to address the rejection and abuse some LGBT youth faced just after coming out to their parents, care giver of peers.

akt albert kennedyThe Trust was set up in memory of Albert Kennedy [pictured left], who was just 16 when he fell to his death from a multi-story car park in what is widely regarded as a homophobic hate crime. Starting by providing safe homes for these young people, and later offering mentoring, the charity soon spread to meet need in London. More recently, in 2013, it merged with Outpost Housing in Newcastle to also offer additional services to LGBT youth in Newcastle. However, the charity says that despite changes in society towards LGBT rights, its work is far from over.
"At the Albert Kennedy Trust the number of bed nights we have provided to young people has risen from 3,000 to almost 8,000 in 12 month," said a spokesman; "we are predicting a further 50% rise this year."

In 2013 AKT opened 'Purple Door', the UK's first emergency accommodation exclusively for LGBT youths fleeing violence or homelessness. The Trust has further plans for 2014-15 to develop more innovative and nationally significant services for young people.
Next month, the trust will release findings from the first national survey of LGBT youth homelessness. It will not only use this information to inform its own growth, but also to inform the decisions of ministers, local government and housing providers.

Tim Sigsworth, CEO of The Albert Kennedy Trust, said: "My hope for the next 25 years is that AKT will no longer be needed, because society has reached a level of equality and fairness where young people are accepted by their families and mainstream provisions truly recognizes and meets their needs."
Cath Hall, Founder Patron of AKT said: "There's still work to be done, there is still a lot of negativity about which means the trust now has more young people coming to us than ever before. The economic climate at the moment is making it very tough for young people to survive, things are very very difficult."

If you want to find out more details about the Albert Kennedy Trust's work, or how to help raise money to support it, visit www.akt.org.uk or contact them via: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Posted: 7 July 2014


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