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Saturday, 15 November 2014

Albert Kennedy Trust/Outpost - Celebration Evening at The Vermont Hotel November 2014

Date: Thursday 13th November 2013.    
Venue: The Vermont Hotel, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.


                 








PROUD to be a Patron of AKT/Outpost

As Patron I was invited to present an award at a fabulous event to celebrate '25 years of the Albert Kennedy Trust'  and the hard work of our young people, volunteers, donors, supporters, and staff.

This year AKT celebrates its 25thanniversary. Since 1989 AKT has supported lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) young people aged 25 and under who are homeless or living in a hostile environment.

Cath Hall, a foster carer based in Manchester, was already aware of the rejection and ejection of young LGBT people from their family homes and was spurred to action following the tragic death of Albert Kennedy on Sunday 30th April 1989.

Albert was 16 years when he tragically fell to his death from a multi-story car park in what is widely regarded as a homophobic hate crime. Albert was very much loved by his family, but whilst spending some time in a children’s home he experienced rejection and homophobia from other residents, and sought solace in Manchester’s gay village. Albert’s mum, Mary, is a very proud supporter of AKT’s work.

Cath decided to set up a trust in Albert’s name to provide safe homes for LGBT young people who had faced rejection from their families and from society at large. Initially providing safe spaces with volunteer carers in Manchester, the Trust now works in three cities (London, Manchester and Newcastle) providing mentoring, advocacy and training as well as safe homes with carers and within our own Purple Door project.

On the Trust reaching its 25th Anniversary Cath said: “I had a vision, a passionate vision, that no young LGBT young person should live in fear at home. Like a baton, that vision had to be passed on.

“Over 25 years passionate and dedicated LGBT men and women have taken up the baton to ensure that thousands of young people have been touched by that dream and could live in safety, or with guidance, into adulthood."

The event was due to start at 7pm with a buffet, followed by the Alberts Award Ceremony at 8pm. The young people decided to create a colourful carnival experience, so the theme of the evening was Circus/Fairground with hook the duck and various side stalls. As many of know I love to get dressed up I wore quite an eye-catching Ringmistress outfit. 

Amy Addison and Patron Ellen Dean arriving at the event

Of course, when I'm OUT and About there is always a little detour that isn't planned, but usually ends up being fun. Tonight was no exception.

I set off in plenty of time knowing there was roadworks along a great length of the A1. I was to meet my niece, Amy Addison, at our cousins house in Chester-Le-Street. Amy would leave her car there and travel to and from The Vermont Hotel with me. However, I missed the turn off to Chester-Le-Street and ended up almost in Washington. After a frantic phone call we arranged to meet at Birtley Services (yes, the one mentioned in Beautiful Strangers, but no sign of Dr. Hyacinth Dickinson). 
I arrived with Amy's words 'You plonker!' ringing in my ears! We met. A new arrangement was needed: I would follow Amy into Newcastle because she has Sat Nav. Yay! My cousin Catherine had advised us to travel over the Tyne Bridge, so off we went. But, Amy didn't turn off at the junction we were supposed to, so we ended up going over the Redheugh Bridge instead. To cap it all, some roads were closed so we ended up at St James Park. 
Of course, I was panicking. But, thanks to Amy's trusty Sat Nav we were soon heading towards The Vermont Hotel. We arrived safely and luckily we didn't miss anything even though we were a tad late. Thinking back we probably looked like a cross between Thelma and Louise and a scene from the film The Italian Job. 

It was great to catch up with all of the wonderful people who are connected with the Albert Kennedy Trust. I had a lovely chat with Lady Margaret Shipley, wife of Lord John Shipley, about social media, in particular Twitter and Facebook.

Lord John and Lady Margaret Shipley

MC for the event was Jonathan Miles Radio Presenter at BBC Newcastle who did a magnificent job. 

Jonathan Miles

Tim Sigsworth Chief Executive and Wendy Hodgson Deputy Chief Executive of The Albert Kennedy Trust explained what the charity offers, and how it supports Lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans homeless people (aged 16-25) in crisis and thanked their amazing sponsors, partners, staff and volunteers for their hard work and dedication.  It's heartwarming to know how some of the young people the charity has helped keep in touch and sometimes come back as volunteers. To me that speaks volumes.

Wendy Hodgson and Tim Sigsworth

I was proud to present AKT's Community Partner Award in Newcastle to Helen Hindhaugh of Teenage Kicks 

A proud Patron making my speech

Presenting the Community Partner Award to Helen Hindhaugh of Teenage Kicks

Well done to Wendy and the AKT/Outpost team for putting on such a grand event. And, I love the way everyone integrates within AKT, even though it's a charity for LGBT a lot of the staff and volunteers are not LGBT. The whole evening was absolutely fabulous.

Ellen Dean and Wendy Hodgson
AKT Trustee Jim McElderry

Steph Edusei CEO Healthwatch, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
Terry Stacy MBE AKT Chairman with Ellen Dean and Amy Addison
AKT Ambassador Steven Moore BBC TV Antiques Roadshow
with Jonathan Miles

                                                   


                                                   


                                                   


All fab photographs copyright Steve Brock Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Friday, 24 October 2014

Sister Act - Darlington Operatic Society

There's usually a story to tell when we go out for the evening, and, last night was no exception. We set off in plenty of time to go and see Sister Act, however, thanks to some road closures that we didn't know about in Aiskew blocking access to the A1, we had an enforced detour. It would have been nice  to see a road closed warning (Bedale) and a detour sign, but no - there weren't any. Then the A1 had roadworks. Then low and behold when we got to Darlington...roadworks again! We were five minutes late for the start of the performance, but managed to creep in without causing a disturbance. The show definitely made up for the awful journey. 

Photo copyright Darlington Operatic Society


Well, the Sisters were certainly having a great time last night at Darlington Civic Theatre, and so were the audience. What a spectacular performance of Sister Act by Darlington Operatic Society. If Whoopi Goldberg had been there she would have been well impressed with Deloris (I think last night was played by Rhiannon Williams) she is apparently sharing the role (alternate performances) with her sister Claire Willmer. The dancing, the singing, the music and the acting, absolutely brilliant. Every one of the cast exceptional. You felt as if you were on the stage with them.

Photo copyright Darlington Operatic Society


And, I've heard through the grapevine (their Facebook page) that the society has received over fifty applications for their next set of New Member auditions. I'm not surprised, if I could sing I'd be auditioning :-)

Ellen Dean Recommends

Plus, a huge thank you to our good friend Kathy Boyer of KB Equine Therapy for animal sitting :-)


Saturday, 6 September 2014

Planet of the Books: Author Profile: Ellen Dean

Planet of the Books: Author Profile: Ellen Dean: Ellen Dean takes the plunge with the Planet London author profiles... find out how the Famous Five influenced this author... What’s your ...

Monday, 14 July 2014

Beyond Midnight - Hyacinth Dickinson Series - Book two


Beyond Midnight, from best-selling author Ellen Dean, is the second book in the Hyacinth Dickinson Series. Two years on from a tragic helicopter crash charismatic Dr. Hyacinth Dickinson, world renowned gynaecologist/obstetrician and Mistress of the Amethyst Coven, is out for revenge.

Those who betrayed her must pay, including the beautiful Sofia Roberto-Sabatini, who is in line to be a Mafia Don.

Sofia has a rare blue diamond, knowledge that is supposed to be secret. But, secrets have a way of leaking. Hyacinth is determined to possess that diamond by fair means or foul. If magic needs to be used, then so be it.

But things don't always go according to plan. Hyacinth has enemies who want the diamond as badly as she does, and so the chase begins. The two women end up running for their lives. 
Will they survive? Will love conquer all?

Publishing date 24th July 2014
Available to pre-order

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Albert Kennedy Trust - Press Release

I am proud to be a Patron of this amazing charity and thrilled to be able to share this press release with you all.
Ellen Dean

Remembering Albert - 25 Years On

Later on this year, on 7th July, The Albert Kennedy Trust (AKT) celebrates its 25th anniversary. Since 1989 AKT has supported lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) young people aged 25 and under who are homeless or living in a hostile environment.

Cath Hall, a foster carer based in Manchester, was already aware of the rejection and ejection of young LGBT people from their family homes and was spurred to action following the tragic death of Albert Kennedy on Sunday 30th April 1989.

Albert was 16 years when he tragically fell to his death from a multi-story car park in what is widely regarded as a homophobic hate crime. Albert was very much loved by his family, but whilst spending some time in a children’s home he experienced rejection and homophobia from other residents, and sought solace in Manchester’s gay village. Albert’s mum, Mary, is a very proud supporter of AKT’s work.

Cath decided to set up a trust in Albert’s name to provide safe homes for LGBT young people who had faced rejection from their families and from society at large. Initially providing safe spaces with volunteer carers in Manchester, the Trust now works in three cities (London, Manchester and Newcastle) providing mentoring, advocacy and training as well as safe homes with carers and within our own Purple Door project.

On the Trust reaching its 25th Anniversary Cath said: “I had a vision, a passionate vision, that no young LGBT young person should live in fear at home. Like a baton, that vision had to be passed on.

“Over 25 years passionate and dedicated LGBT men and women have taken up the baton to ensure that thousands of young people have been touched by that dream and could live in safety, or with guidance, into adulthood.

In order to commemorate Albert’s life and the work being undertaken in his name we are asking users across social media to use the hash tag #rememberingalbert on this 25th anniversary of his death.

Supporters can also send the special text giving code "ALBT25 £10" to 70070 to give the Albert Kennedy Trust £10, and help them continue their work helping young people made homeless purely for being brave enough to come out.

To celebrate the 25th Anniversary the Trust has commissioned a new logo to highlight the milestone which, from today (30th April), will be used across the website, social media and promotional material throughout the 25th Anniversary year.

A number of special events will also take place including a Lord Mayor’s Reception in July, the AKT Party which will give the opportunity for supporters to host their own fundraising event in September and the Young Person’s Question Time in July which will give young people the opportunity to ask questions to housing ministers and shadow ministers.


Tim Sigsworth, Chief Executive of The Albert Kennedy Trust, said: “My hope for the next 25 years is that AKT will no longer be needed. I hope that society will reach a level of equality and fairness where young people are accepted by their families and mainstream provision truly recognises and meets their needs. Until then AKT intends to grow to meet need nationally.”



Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Beyond Midnight - Book Trailer



Sequel to Beautiful Strangers. Dr Hyacinth Dickinson has scores to settle. Falling in love is not on the agenda.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Fore Play



A screenplay by Ellen Dean
Cheeky Monkey Productions

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Monday, 7 April 2014

Top Quality Equestrian Transport

March 2014 and my niece Amy's horse Honey (thoroughbred mare) had to travel to the Philip Leverhulme Equine Hospital  at the University of Liverpool.

It's a big deal, transporting precious horses, finding the right people. Who can we get to take us? Amy worried. Her friend Rowan was quick to recommend DEFRA approved A and L Grant Horse Transport from Bramley Grange, Grewelthorpe, North Yorkshire and so arrangements were made.


Amy says, 'Thanks to Rowan we had a great transporter. Andy was really good with Honey when she was slightly reluctant to load. He's a very patient guy who knows exactly what he's doing with horses. He's travelled the world transporting them. He's a horseman, as well as an experienced and accomplished driver. I was very happy with the way he handled Honey and way he drove us. Andy drives to suit the horse.'


Honey looking relaxed in her quarters.

The horse box is top spec. Andy designed it himself with the comfort and safety of the horse in mind. The transporter holds three horses of around 550kgs, or two mares with foals, or four yearlings. 


Andy leading Honey out of the transporter.

If any of us are looking to use horse transport in the future this is the company we would definitely call. Andy is punctual, friendly and, in the words of Amy, 'highly amusing' :-) It's good to know your precious cargo is in such safe hands.

A & L Grant contact details are:
Tel: 01765 658783
Mobile: 07760 545770
Mobile: 07710 825836
email: andyandLindsey@live.co.uk


Ellen Dean Recommends

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Innergie - Magic Cable Lightning Duo

Received this Magic Cable Lightning Duo from Innergie to review. It is a great product and it works with my Kindle, Android phone, and in my car. You can charge your phone using the USB to connect to your computer while you are working. Or, you can charge up your devices in your car while driving. I found I can use the cable with my home radio by plugging the USB into the back and connecting to my phone's music.




The instructions say it is compatible with iPod Touch 5th Generation: I have a 4th Gen so it doesn't fit. They also state it's compatible with iPad 4: I have iPad 3 and my niece has an iPad 4 but it doesn't fit hers. However, I think if you had an adapter it might work with iPad 4.

This is an excellent product but it feels a little fragile (Micro USB slipped out of casing 2nd use) so I wonder how robust it is and if it will be a long lasting product.


Sunday, 2 March 2014

Orangutan Protection Foundation Raffle

Thanks to the generous support of Dave Heron, proprietor of No 12 Greengrocers in Masham, North Yorkshire, UK, the Orang-utan Protection Foundation are £130.00 richer.


Dave and his staff have sold raffle tickets from No 12 during January and February 2014. The draw took place on the afternoon of Friday 28th 2014 and the winners were drawn by OPF Ambassador Ellen Dean.



Originally there were three prizes but this increased to four on the draw day:
a gorgeous cuddly orang-utan; a box of fresh fruit and vegetables donated by No 12 Greengrocers; wine and chocolates donated by Ellen Dean; bottle of wine kindly donated by Derek of Corks and Cases, Silver Street, Masham.




The winners are:
R. Merrin - cuddly orangutan,
Mrs. Jarvis - wine and chocolates,
Mrs. Chalmers - bottle of wine,
David whose surname we don't have but we know him as David of Acorns - box of fresh fruit and vegetables.


















A huge thank you to Dave, Sue and all who took part. Congratulations to the winners.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Highland Gems


Some beautiful places to visit in the Scottish Highlands.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Masham Midsummer Arts Crafts and Collectables Fair Orangutan Protection Fo...

On Sunday 23rd June 2013 we held a Midsummer Arts, Crafts and Collectables Fair/Fundraiser in Masham Town Hall, Masham, North Yorkshire, UK, and raised £1400 (and counting) for the

A huge thank you to all of our sponsors, exhibitors, helpers, 
and the people who came to visit.

And as of today I am so proud to be an 



Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Albert Kennedy Trust Merge with The Outpost Housing Project


As Patron of The Outpost Housing Project Newcastle-upon-Tyne
I am delighted to announce their merger with 


LGBT youth homeless charities AKT and Outpost merge to sustain and improve services for young people
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) youth homeless charities the Albert Kennedy Trust (AKT) and Outpost Housing are to merge from 8 May 2013 to help meet rising demand and sustain vital services for young people. 
Outpost will continue to operate in the north east and offer support and accommodation to LGBT young people at risk of homelessness. They will be re-named AKT Outpost. 
AKT will continue to offer its range of services for LGBT young people in the north west and London. 
AKT Chief Executive Tim Sigsworth says “AKT and Outpost have a lot in common and by coming together we hope to continue and enhance the level of help and support that LGBT young people at risk of homelessness receive across the north east, north west and in London. Despite ten years of progressive legislation which has enabled young LGBT people to feel more confident to come out at an early age – the reality is that when they do they are still greeted with the same level of homophobia, bi phobia and trans phobia at home or school experienced 24 years ago when AKT was established by Foster Carer Cath Hall. Nationally we are now seeing an increase in demand for our services of around 30% and by sharing our knowledge, expertise and some of our running costs with Outpost we can ensure every penny possible goes directly to support the growing numbers of young people who need our help.”
Chair of The Albert Kennedy Trust, Samantha Days, says “this is a very exciting and crucial step in AKT and Outpost continuing to deliver and develop vital services for LGBT young people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. It will give us the opportunity to explore delivering these services on a national level and continue to alleviate the terrible circumstances some of our young people experience”.
Chair of Outpost Housing, Jim McElderry says “Outpost has received tremendous support in recent years from local funders such as Newcastle City Council and the Northern Rock Foundation but we know if we are going to be able to protect and develop housing support services for LGBT young people in the North East we need to do more.  This merger opens up new funding opportunities for us and means we can now be part of a national campaign for LGBT young people without losing our local identity.” 
Sam, a young person who was helped by Outpost Housing, says “As a young person who ran away from home in Southampton to live in Newcastle; Outpost have been amazing with supporting me with LGBT difficulties. When I heard that they have decided to merge with The Albert Kennedy Trust I was very happy and felt content, especially as it means that in the future if I decide to move from Newcastle I could still receive support and also means I can be happy wherever I live. As the charities have become national, I feel that this provides more options for young people and personalises the service for people like me.”
Leader of Newcastle City Council, Councillor Nick Forbes, says "The voluntary sector faces some big challenges in the current climate so I commend Outpost for using the funding the council gives them to develop a long term business plan that will open up new sources of funding for their service. Newcastle City Council is absolutely committed to tackling all forms of inequality to make Newcastle a warm welcoming city for everyone regardless of their background or sexual orientation."

If you would like to be part of helping AKT build and extend the reach of our services to more LGBT young people facing homelessness please visit www.give15.org  to donate.

About AKT
AKT’s Mission is to ensure that all lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans young people are able to live in accepting, supportive and caring homes, by providing a range of services to meet the individual needs of those who would otherwise be homeless or living in a hostile environment. We aim to do this by:
Providing appropriate homes through supported lodgings, fostering and other specialist housing schemes.
Enabling young people to manage independent living successfully.
Improving attitudes within society towards lesbian, gay and bisexual young people. 
We support several hundred young people every year who have experienced domestic violence or have been ejected from home just for being brave enough to come out as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Trans to their parents or care giver. For more information visit www.akt.org.uk




About Outpost
Outpost offer accommodation for LGBT young people aged 16 to 25 in fully furnished and equipped single person bedsits for a duration of up to 18 months. When young people are ready to move on we help them to find safe and suitable long-term accommodation. Outpost also offers support and advice on matters relating to housing, benefits, education, training and work, living independently, coming out and being out, relationships, emotional health, sexual health, drugs and alcohol. For more information visit www.outpostproject.org.uk




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