Category Archives: LGBT

LGBT charities merge to improve services

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) youth homeless charities the Albert Kennedy Trust (AKT) and Outpost Housing have anmnounced that they have merged to help meet rising demand and sustain vital services for young people.

Albert Kennedy Trust logo

The Albert Kennedy Trust

Outpost will continue to operate in the north east and offer support and accommodation to LGBT young people at risk of homelessness. It will be re-named AKT Outpost.

The Albert Kennedy Trust will continue to offer its range of services for LGBT young people in the north west and London.

AKT Chief Executive Tim Sigsworth said: “AKT and Outpost have a lot in common and by coming together we hope to continue and enhance the level of help and support that LGBT young people at risk of homelessness receive across the north east, northwest and in London. Despite ten years of progressive legislation which has enabled young LGBT people to feel more confident to come out at an early age – the reality is that when they do they are still greeted with the same level of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia at home or school experienced 24 years ago when AKT was established by Foster Carer Cath Hall.

“Nationally we are now seeing an increase in demand for our services of around 30% and by sharing our knowledge, expertise and some of our running costswith Outpost we can ensure every penny possible goes directly to support the growing numbers of young people who need our help.”

Chair of The Albert Kennedy Trust, Samantha Days, commented: “this is a very exciting and crucial step in AKT and Outpost continuing to deliver and develop vital services for LGBT young people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. It will give us the opportunity to explore delivering these services on a national level and continue to alleviate the terrible circumstances some of our young people experience”.

Chair of Outpost Housing, Jim McElderry says: “Outpost has received tremendous support in recent years from local funders such as Newcastle City Council and the Northern Rock Foundation but we know if we are going to be able to protect and develop housing support services for LGBT young people in the North East we need to do more. This merger opens up new funding opportunities for us and means we can now be part of a national campaign for LGBT young people without losing our local identity.”

Sam,a young person who was helped by Outpost Housing, says: “As a young person who ran away from home in Southampton to live in Newcastle; Outpost have been amazing with supporting me with LGBT difficulties. When I heard that they have decided to merge with The Albert Kennedy Trust I was very happy and felt content, especially as it means that in the future if I decide to move from Newcastle I could still receive support and also means I can be happy wherever I live. As the charities have become national, I feel that this provides more options for young people and personalises the service for people like me.”

Leader of Newcastle City Council, Councillor Nick Forbes, says: “The voluntary sector faces some big challenges in the current climate so I commend Outpost for using the funding the council gives them to develop a long term business plan that will open up new sources of funding for their service.Newcastle City Council is absolutely committed to tackling all forms of inequality to make Newcastle a warm welcoming city for everyone regardless of their background or sexual orientation.”

If you would like to be part of helping AKT build and extend the reach of our services to more LGBT young people facing homelessness please visit www.give15.org to donate.

Diane Abbott backs LGB health campaign

Labour MP Diane Abbott is backing a charity’s call for better access to health services for lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people.

It comes as The Lesbian and Gay Foundation (LGF) has revealed statistics showing that LGB people are twice as likely as heterosexual people to have suicidal thoughts or to make suicide attempts, and are two to three times more likely to suffer from depression.

The LGF, based in Manchester, has launched a new guide that aims to demystify mental health and help people understand how they can look after it.

Ms Abbott, the shadow minister for public health, said: “Improving access to health services for LGBT people will be a public health priority for my party.”

Other statistics show that one in four gay and bisexual (GB) men report being in fair or bad health compared with one in six men in general, while a third of GB men who have accessed healthcare services in the past year have had a negative experience related to their sexual orientation.

Lucy Rolfe, wellbeing manager at The LGF, said: “Shocking statistics show that lesbian, gay and bisexual people are at greater risk of self-harm, suicide, depression and are more likely to smoke, drink and take illegal drugs. Yet LGB people often face barriers in accessing the services they need.”

Paul Martin, chief executive of The LGF, said: “The health needs of LGB people can be easily overlooked by mainstream health organisations. The Lesbian and Gay Foundation is currently working with all of the major political parties to ensure that these often ignored health needs are placed firmly on their agenda.”

Ms Abbott will be dedicating a chapter of Labour’s Policy Review document, the final version of which will be presented at the next party conference, to LGBT health.

LGBT people urged to consider fostering and adoption

Charities believe that the 2nd annual LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week could help meet the desperate need for foster carers and adopters across the UK.

LGBT Adoption Week logo

Charities believe that adoption and fostering by the LGBT community can help meet need for carers

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people are being urged to consider adoption and fostering, ahead of the second annual LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week, which runs from 4th to 10th March 2013.

Leading adoption and fostering charities believe LGBT people could be help make up the shortfall of foster carers and adoptive parents across the UK. It’s estimated that 4,000 children need adopting every year, and an additional 9,000 foster carers must be found.

It’s estimated that if just two percent of LGBT people came forward to foster or adopt, they could meet the shortfall of homes needed for children currently in care.

LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week is a series of events around the country aimed to educate prospective parents and carers about the processes involved and to let them hear from others in their area who have adopted or fostered children themselves. It is organised by New Family Social, the charity run by LGBT adopters and foster carers for families and families-to-be.

Action for Children is the week’s main sponsor. The charity’s Director of Public Policy, Helen Donohoe, says: “From 140 years of working with the UK’s most vulnerable children, we know how important it is to find the best possible placement for each and every child in care – and we know that LGBT people often come to adoption or fostering as the first choice for expanding their family, bringing love, real enthusiasm and resourcefulness.

“Throughout LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week, our friendly approachable staff will be on hand at events across the UK to answer questions and help potential parents take the first steps towards providing one of the thousands of children desperately in need with a stable, loving home.”

Andy Leary-May, Director of New Family Social, says: “Some people are still put off by fears that they won’t be welcomed by agencies, but things are changing. In our group we have huge and diverse range of families, including plenty of parents who are single, or in their fifties. It’s clear to see how well our children are doing, and what a positive and rewarding choice fostering and adoption can be”.

Moulin Rouge comes to Manchester

A charity that supports young LGBT 16-25 year olds who are made homeless or living in a hostile environment is hosting an ‘Evening of Moulin Rouge’ in Manchester.

Photo of Moulin Rouge posterThe Albert Kennedy Trust (AKT) is offering to give supporters a taste of the Moulin Rouge, with an evening of fun and frivolity to remember on Saturday, 16th February.

Tickets are available at £35 and Darren Batey from the charity says it is set to be an amazing night. He said: “We have worked hard to ensure we have top entertainment and with a drinks reception on arrival and a two course dinner to whet your appetite before the show begins, what more could you ask for?

Tickets for the event that starts at 7pm are available by visiting http://www.akt.org.uk/events/february/moulin-rouge.html