"If you can provide a safe and stable environment for a young person then do it!" AKT SUPPORTS YOUNG LGBTQ+ PEOPLE IN CRISIS. EVERY DAY WE DEAL WITH THE EFFECTS HOMELESSNESS CAN HAVE ON YOUNG PEOPLE'S LIVES. WE OFFER YOUNG PEOPLE A RANGE OF ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS DEPENDENT ON THEIR NEEDS AND WHAT IS AVAILABLE. OUR HOST PROGRAMME IS ONE OF THE WAYS IN WHICH WE CAN OFFER SUPPORT TO A YOUNG PERSON WHO HAS NO SAFE PLACE TO LIVE. Becoming a Host for AKT gives you the opportunity to help support a young LGBTQ+ person, and can be hugely rewarding. We spoke to AKT Hosts Phil and Rachel, and asked them why they chose to support AKT in this way. What motivated you to become a Host for The Albert Kennedy Trust? As a young person I struggled with my gender and sexuality, and didn’t come out to my family until I was in my 30s. Having said that, they were always supportive of me and my efforts to “fit in”. Nowadays my life is more sorted but I’m aware this isn’t the case for everyone, so I thought it was a good opportunity to make a positive contribution to someone who might be experiencing similar struggles to those that I went through. For me the best thing is seeing someone grow in confidence and take on new challenges. Can you tell us a bit about the process of becoming a Host? Once we decided that we wanted to get involved with AKT we talked to a friend that knows a staff member and it went very quickly from there. We did our training and all the checks and then waited to see what would happen. Because we live quite remotely it took some time for AKT to find us an appropriate match but our young person has been with us for 6 months now and I can honestly say it’s been good for all of us. What has been your favourite moment so far being a Host for AKT? For me the best thing is seeing someone grow in confidence and take on new challenges. It also challenges me in new ways too - I’d largely forgotten what it’s like to be a teenager! Have there been any particular challenges? We’ve been very lucky really… Our young person is great company and presents no major issues. The biggest thing for us is keeping up the spirits in the hunt for employment which seems to be so much more difficult nowadays than it was when I was that age. What kind of support does AKT offer you as a Host? We have regular meetings with AKT support staff and there’s always someone there if help is needed. AKT also provide good planning and advice on the way forward. What advice would you offer to someone thinking of becoming an AKT Host? If you can provide a safe and stable environment for a young person then do it! The rewards are so worth it. If you're interested in becoming an AKT Host, just click here to find out how.