A charity that was founded in Manchester and was one of the first LGBT charities in the world welcomed global superstar Lady Gaga yesterday.
The Albert Kennedy Trustwas founded after 16-year-old Albert Kennedy fell to his death from the top of a car park in Manchester in 1989.
The Manchester charity soon grew and now has offices in Newcastle and London - it was the London branch that welcomed the Poker Face pop star yesterday.
Lady Gaga spent a few hours in the company of young people, staff and volunteers and said:
Tim Sigsworth MBE, Chief Executive at the Albert Kennedy Trust added:
Before leaving the office, Gaga left an empowering message on the office wall:
- History of the Albert Kennedy Trust
Albert's death caused Manchester’s gay community to move into action by the Trust’s founder patron Cath Hall, a heterosexual foster carer who admitted she could not meet the full range of needs of LGBT young people in her care.
She had observed that Albert's case was not isolated, and that many other LGBT young people in and out of the foster care system were struggling with the effects of homophobia. Cath Hall described the founding of the trust as ""an emotional response, an angry response, to what was going on".
She started setting up a supported lodgings service for LGBT young people with the support of Hugh Fell, Manchester City Council and other key members of the Manchester LGBT community.
Albert was a runaway from a children's home and in his short life he had experienced rejection and abuse from society.
Cath and the rest of the committee chose to adopt the name the Albert Kennedy Trust not only as a tribute to this young man but also because Albert epitomised the very thing the organisation was set up to prevent happening to other young lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people.
The organisation officially became a Trust in 1990.