Albert Kennedy Trust gets ready for 20th Anniversary.
Publish Date: 12/12/2008
For almost twenty years Albert Kennedy Trust has been providing a safety net for young lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered (LGBT) young people whose families have rejected them or are unable to care for them.
To coincide with the charities twentieth anniversary year in 2009, AKT is launching a fundraising and awareness drive alongside a new logo and website - and announcing new services to help meet the needs of LGBT young people.
Last year the charity helped more than 1,400 young people - providing appropriate homes through supported lodgings, and enabling young people to successfully manage independent living wherever possible through information, mentoring and advocacy.
New services for 2009
As well as providing supported lodgings, placements and mentoring, the charity also offers support and information for young people. New AKT services coming on-line in 2009, include a quality mark scheme for mainstream housing providers and a 'Tomorrow's Leaders' programme to ensure young LGBT people have the skills and self worth to fulfil their potential.
The Albert Kennedy Trust's research with its users last year found that 85% of the young people helped by the charity had faced some level of rejection by their parents or carers after telling them that they were lesbian, gay or bisexual.
Previously research has suggested only 14% of LGBT young people have been rejected by their care giver. Over two-thirds of AKT young men have been offered sex or been forced to offer sex to get a bed for the night.
Meeting young people's needs
Albert Kennedy Trust Chief Executive, Tim Sigsworth, commented: 'Rejection and ejection from home are the harsh reality for many vulnerable LGBT teens, and in fact the demand for our services is growing year on year. That's why we need to ensure we're able to help every young person who needs our vital services.
'Despite the fact that we live in supposedly more accepting and equal times for LGBT people, young people are still being rejected by parents, families and carers - often finding themselves living in an abusive or hostile environment or forced out of home and onto friends' sofas or the streets. At present we cannot meet the demand for carer households and our service is bursting at the seams - we need money, volunteers and support to build the capacity we need to help all those young people who turn to us.
'Adolescence is a difficult time - and loneliness and depression are all too common. For some LGBT young people life is even more difficult; we know that almost two-thirds of lesbian and gay young people have been bullied and many cannot be themselves at school. If they feel unable to be themselves at home either - or if coming out to parents or carers leads to rejection, this can lead to failure to achieve at school, homelessness, emotional and mental health issues and long-term risks to their life chances.'
The Albert Kennedy Trust has offices in Manchester and London, the Trust is named after a young runaway named Albert Kennedy, who fell to his death from a Manchester car park after being chased. His life had been filled with rejection and abuse.
Many members of the press and dignitaries attended the AKT launch, including Lord Waheed Ali and representatives from the LGF.
For more information on the Albert Kennedy Trust and their plans for the future, click here.