akt’s CEO, Tim Spoor, shares some words on his departure and reflects on his time at akt.
This year I celebrated 25 years working within LGBTQ+ charities and 35 years as a Queer activist. This has given me an opportunity for deep reflection, and after almost 17 years I am leaving akt to have a little rest time for self-care before I look for my next challenge in the sector.
akt has been a safe and joyous home for me, and I would like to thank the amazing team of volunteers, staff, trustees, donors, and supporters who I have enjoyed working alongside over the years, who together have created a leading charity which is highly respected and offers a nationwide safe place for LGBTQ+ young people facing homelessness.
This has been a wonderful journey, and I would like to celebrate just a few of the successes of the team over the past 17 years:
- Ensuring we reach young people most in need of support, either through our growth from a two-city service to a national service providing physical services to young people in four regions, or through our digital service which since 2015 has made sure young people have a lifeline of support whenever needed and wherever they are.
- Campaigning to help put prevention and LGBTQ+ people’s experiences and needs at the heart of policy makers’ decision making around homelessness.
- Raising awareness through our research programme to highlight the level and impact of homelessness within our community though producing the first national scoping of homelessness.
- Working alongside international partners to learn from and create a unified solution to youth homelessness.
- Most importantly, akt has continued over the years to offer meaningful participation and sustained involvement of young people in the direction of our work, whilst offering an external platform for young people to talk truth to power, including through our young ambassador’s programme.
I hope akt’s future will be filled with new voices and LGBTQ+ identities, who are representative of the diversity of the community we support, who will lead and take the work forward.
Last year we welcomed a new Chair; an authentic leader who shares my passion and drive to take akt forward by placing young people at the centre of the charity. I know akt will be all the better for his stewardship, and I am excited to watch this amazing charity’s next journey unfold.