I got the chance to go to a press breakfast at the Groucho Club to learn all about the Albert Kennedy Trust, least to say it was an emotional day. Press days always start of nice, we were welcomed with a glass of bubbly (Laurent-Perrier) and some breakfast goodies.

As we all buzzed around each other saying hello and being made feel welcomed by the whole team putting this amazing event together (LucyDartfordPR), we began to take our seats.

The Albert Kennedy trust was founded in 1989, in aid of helping young LGBT people and giving them a place to say, learn and be supported. Some of the facts which were given to us at the beginning astounded me, I couldn’t believe such a great charity wasn’t supported by the government.

Tony from the AKT was the guy talking us through the facts and the beginning of the Charity, he told us he worked on the communication side of the Trust – so it was nice for him to be out of the office.

Tony AKT

  • Annually the trust receives over 1,500 calls for support three cities: London, Manchester and Newcastle
  • Over 8,000 nights off the street provided by AKT for young people in 2013/14
  • It is estimated that 1 in 4 homeless youths may identify as LGBT
  • Beds a night provided by AKT have risen by 160% in the last 12 months and they are expecting a further 50% rise this year.

We got to hear personally from one of the case studies at the AKT, his speech was emotional to say the least – you could see how nervous he was twiddling his thumbs. The room gripped by his powerful words as he describes his experience, it really was like hearing a story off a TV soap.

“My parents are from the Caribbean so they are not familiar with people who are gay, in my family it was seen as a sin. I was pretty much beaten and kicked out of my own home because I came out as gay to them, it was a terrifying. I spent a lot of time sofa surfing between friends, wondering what to do. Finally one of my gay friends who took me told me about the AKT and what they could offer, at first I wasn’t sure – but when I went they couldn’t of been more helpful. I am very thankful of the AKT and I’m learning to be myself and rebuilt my confidence.” – Alex

Most of the room whipping tears off their face, as so many of us identify how easily that could have been us – how could we not be sympathetic to his plight.

We were then introduced to Phillip C Baldwin who is a Gay Rights, Human Rights and HIV awareness activist – who works as a lawyer in the city. He’s been giving his time to charities raising awareness of homelessness and coming to terms with his own diagnosis of HIV and Hep C, he talked about how its still an awkward subject for lots of people. Phillip wants to break down those walls and allow people to freely talk about sexual health and anyone else who has HIV – which I find amazing, a great way to battle something that has effected you.

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Speaking to Phillip, I asked him what was the future of charities like these and how will it change society – his answer was eloquent.

“I believe harnessing a power of philanthropy, which is big in America. As well as making people feel empowered in helping other people is important, looking outwards onto society instead of just thinking about you. Focusing on the futures of others and how that will improve upon the future of society, I feel is very important – as that will dictate what kind of future we will all have.”

Recent Report:

EST: 15,000 – 20,000 young people are homeless

Cost to state of youth homelessness: £24-£0k (PP, PA)

Up to 24% of youth homelessness identify at LGBT

Top 5 outcomes of homelessness for LGBT youth:

  • Sexual Exploitation
  • Mental Health Issues
  • Alcohol Abuse
  • Homophobic Bullying
  • Parental Rejection

77% of young people believe their sexual orientation / gender identity is a casual factor for rejection from home

Top three reasons for LGBT homelessness:

  • 69% Parental Rejection
  • 69% Abuse within the family (physical, emotional sexual)
  • 62% Aggression / Violence in the family

84% of LGBT organisations stated experience of service user disclosing homelessness, risk of homelessness, or living in a hostile environment.

@AlbertKennedyTr
akt.org.uk