Rainbow roses will help homeless LGBT youth this Valentine’s Day

The rainbow roses will be sold for Valentine'’s Day, and support homeless LGBT youth.

UK supermarket chain Morrisons is selling rainbow roses to support homeless LGBT+ youth this Valentine’s Day.

Morrisons have partnered with The Albert Kennedy Trust, a charity devoted to supporting homeless LGBT+ youth, in launching the special flower.

The rainbow roses will be available for sale at all Morrisons stores starting February 11. The retailer will donate 50p per rose to the charity, which was selected by Morrisons LGBT+ network.

The retailer intends the roses, which have been dyed so that each petal displays the colours of the rainbow, to be a celebration of all types of love.

Part of Morrisons’ The Best range, the Rainbow Rose has been designed so that anyone can give it to anyone else and to support homeless LGBT youth on Valentine's Day.

The rainbow roses will cost £4 with 50p per rose being donated to homeless LGBT+ charity, The Albert Kennedy Trust. (Supplied)

Inspired by the rainbow flag symbolising the LGBT+ community, Morrisons florists cut the rose stems and dip each part into a different coloured water—which are absorbed by the flower to turn each petal into a different vibrant colour—including blue, yellow, green, violet and pink.

Drew Kirk, Produce Category Manager at Morrisons said in a statement: “We’re stocking rainbow roses this Valentine’s Day for the first time. They’ve been designed to celebrate love.”

The Albert Kennedy Trust director of fundraising Carrie Reiner thanked the retailer for the partnership.

“We’re delighted to partner with Morrisons on their Rainbow Rose campaign for Valentine’s Day,” Reiner said, adding: “As the national LGBT+ youth homelessness charity, we are always looking to raise awareness and raise vital funds to support the work we do to provide safe homes and support to young people who face homelessness just for being brave enough to come out to their families and communities.”

How many young LGBT+ people are homeless in the UK?

In 2017, it was estimated that nearly 45,000 people aged between 18-24  in the UK had approached local authorities to seek assistance. According to The Albert Kennedy Trust, around a quarter of young people at risk of homelessness identify as LGBT+.

Reacting to the government’s action plan to combat rough sleeping unveiled in December, The Albert Kennedy Trust chief executive Tim Sigsworth said fighting homelessness required more than just providing safe homes.

Sigsworth said in a statement: “Young LGBT+ people are uniquely at risk of homelessness and are often more vulnerable than their cisgender straight peers. Our national scoping has shown that 77 percent of young LGBT+ people who have faced homelessness say that this was the result of family rejection or abuse.

“Sadly, mainstream housing support providers often don’t recognise or address issues around sexuality or gender identity when supporting young LGBT+ people.”

He added: “Preventing homelessness relies on a holistic approach beyond simply providing safe homes, with a need to address the employment, welfare and health issues which can exacerbate a young LGBT+ person’s situation.”