Ian McKellen helps raise £15,000 for homeless young gays and lesbians
Celebrities such as Ian McKellen, Boy George and Kristian Digby helped raise more than £15,000 for the Albert Kennedy Trust on Sunday evening.
The charity helps young LGBT people who are homeless and 300 people attended the evening to show their support.
The event was hosted by gay social networking site Jake TM and private members club and concierge service Quintessentially.
It took place in the the House of St Barnabus, a renovated Grade I-listed Georgian building in Soho’s Greek Street.
TV presenter Kristian Digby staged an auction in which the star lot, a portrait of Sir Ian, fetched £5,700, while and DJs Boy George and Fat Tony played sets of classic house and retro disco. The event was sponsored by Aviva, the Box Bar and WH Patterson, an exclusive Mayfair gallery.
Other coveted items included a weekend for two at the five star May Fair hotel in London, a year’s membership to Quintessentially and VIP tickets and backstage passes for the musical Sister Act.
The event also marks the 10th anniversary of Jake TM, which now claims over 30,000 members, and the 20th anniversary of the Albert Kennedy Trust.
Boy George was only recently made aware of the plight of gay homeless people and was delighted to hear about the work of the Albert Kennedy Trust: “I was very distressed to hear about gay teenagers being forced out of home by their families, so coming to play at this event was the least I could do. I’m thrilled to have been involved and to have helped make it such a great evening.”
Jonathan Penny, fundraising officer for the Albert Kennedy Trust, added: “Homophobic prejudice is still rife in society today and as a result many young gay people face rejection by family or peers. Too often, some of these people are forced out on the streets.
“The funds raised tonight will enable us to help provide safe housing and a supportive environment for young people who otherwise would be in grave danger. We would like to say a big thank you to our donors and sponsors for making this such a successful evening.”