I am delighted to  look back with you on one of akt’s busiest and best summers, during which we have undertaken an incredible programme of outreach to ensure both young people and potential new supporters connected with us.

Pride season brought with it so much love, support and solidarity among our supporters, young people, staff and friends, as akt participated in more Pride events than ever before. This included Bi Pride UK, Sparkle, UK Black Pride, Northern Pride, Bristol Pride, Manchester Pride, Pride in London and Salford Pride. It was fantastic to see so many of you at these events.

Throughout the summer months, we were delighted to display our new look at Pride events, which is bringing a whole new supporter base to akt. 

And of course, in June we hosted akt’s first royal visit. akt welcomed the Duke of Cambridge to our London centre to open our YouthSpace, where he met with a number of our young people and staff. To hear the future King announce during the visit that he would support any of his children if they came out as LGBTQ+ was an incredible message of support, which was heard throughout the UK and internationally via the extensive media coverage we received. Our Services team have noted a significant increase in footfall which they attribute to the visit, and to our presence and partnerships over Pride season. 

I hope you enjoy reading our impact report which captures the outcome of our work with young people during 2018-19. In particular I am very proud of: the significant rise in footfall to our digital service ensuring young people outside our four regions our able to access the support they need from akt, where and when they need it most; the increase in the number of people of colour and trans people who are accessing our services – who comprise the most vulnerable and marginalised young people at risk of homelessness; and finally the level of satisfaction from young people accessing our services, which is testament to tour incredibly passionate and talented services team.

To mark our 30th birthday, we’re thrilled to be doing something very different with our annual Gala dinner this year. With the help of the fabulous Sink the Pink, the event will transform into an 80s-themed extravaganza for an unforgettable night at legendary London venue Troxy. You can find out more about the event below, or purchase tickets here

Whether you’re in the north or the south, you can visit our 30th birthday exhibition of portraits commemorating both the people who have helped akt provide over 250,000 nights of safe accommodation since 1989, alongside some of the young people we have helped. You can see the exhibition at either Dalston Superstore (25th September - 6th October) ot Manchester Central Library (November).

Following consultation with young people and a review by the team of the pressure points and opportunities facing young people and our service delivery, akt’s Board of Trustees have agreed more investment in our services for young people; including expanding our Purple Door Project and furthering our YouthSpace project – more next time on this.

Thank you so much for your continued support, without which none of our work to provide safe homes and better futures for young people would happen. 

I look forward to seeing you at the Gala or at one of our other engagement events over the winter months.

Best wishes, Tim.