Two of Swindon’s performing arts venues will be doing their bit to help the LGBTQ+ homeless community by encouraging donations throughout all of next month.

The Wyvern Theatre and Swindon Arts Centre are both a part of the Trafalgar Theatres Group, which is celebrating Pride Month with a company-wide fundraising appeal for LGBTQ+ homeless charity akt, formerly known as the Albert Kennedy Trust.

Every day throughout June, visitors to both of the town venues will be able to donate directly to akt by scanning a QR code (displayed in venues) on their mobile phones.

The charity aims to find young LGBTQ+ people who are living on the streets safe homes, employment, education, or training and to celebrate their identities to improve their life outcomes. It says coming out, or being outed as LGBTQ+, can lead to young people being made homeless, and claims 24% of homeless young people identify as LGBTQ+.

The Wyvern Theatre and Swindon Arts Centre will be joining the company’s Trafalgar Theatre in London, The Chiswick Cinema and its 12 regional venues, including the New Theatre Cardiff, Cliffs Pavilion Southend, G Live Guildford, Orchard Theatre Dartford, Churchill Theatre Bromley, Wycombe Swan, Crewe Lyceum, Beck Theatre Hayes, White Rock Theatre Hastings, and Palace Theatre Westcliff.

The Wyvern recently came under fire for what people felt was an insensitive April Fool’s Joke, making light of the LGBTQ+ community, but the theatre responded by saying that’s not what was intended, highlighting a lot of the work it had done with the LGBTQ+ community in the town.

Read: Wyvern Theatre apologises after LGBTQ+ April Fools' joke makes people angry

Rosemary Squire, Trafalgar Entertainment’s joint CEO, said: “Our industry is a wonderfully diverse world, where everyone has a part to play, and equality and inclusion are celebrated.

"Trafalgar Entertainment is delighted to be supporting akt throughout Pride month and we hope to raise awareness and funds for this essential charity to help change the fortunes of young LGBTQ+ people facing homelessness or difficult life situations.” 

Carrie Reiners, akt’s Deputy CEO, replied: “akt is delighted to partner with Trafalgar Entertainment this Pride season. Their generous support and awareness-raising through their numerous venues and activations will ensure that akt continues to be able to assist the increasing numbers of young LGBTQ+ people across the UK who face homelessness and abuse simply for being who they are.

"Their support allows akt to provide safe accommodation and support when and where it is needed most across the UK.”