East Sussex HIV Support

by Gary Pargeter in Saint Leonards-on-sea, East Sussex, United Kingdom

East Sussex HIV Support
We did it
On 2nd August 2023 we successfully raised £10,475 ( + est. £1133.25 Gift Aid ) with 83 supporters in 35 days

HIV peer-led community groups for people to meet, share peer-support, volunteer, build community, improve social equity and prosperity

by Gary Pargeter in Saint Leonards-on-sea, East Sussex, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

Reach more people, addressing complex needs and life challenges

Who are we?

Lunch Positive is a locally based HIV charity. We're led by our community, involving people with HIV to provide much needed community based support, with a wide range of aims, including to overcome social and financial disadvantage, combat social isolation and loneliness and to provide much valued community based peer-support. 



People living with HIV will have improved and greater equity of opportunity to combat social isolation, reduce loneliness, form supportive friendships, improve physical and mental health, and participate more fully in community. 

Why are we crowdfunding?

People living with HIV have no other HIV face-to-face group support in the area, and experience shows us that people are frequently very unconfident about accessing other support services where they might need to talk about their HIV.

We are able to reach and support people who would otherwise not be supported. This project is a much needed and highly valued opportunity to enable peer-support and provide assistance for people living with HIV who are experiencing multiple social and financial disadvantages, food poverty, social isolation and profound loneliness, and who have poorer physical and mental health. We work directly with the East Sussex NHS HIV clinics to reach people living with HIV who will benefit from the project, and the need for the project has been established through direct consultation with these local clinicians, patients and through community feedback. Whilst the medical treatment and prognosis of an HIV diagnosis have improved significantly, for many people there remain serious life challenges of living with HIV. These include experience of HIV related stigma that causes and exacerbates social isolation and loneliness, often together with internalised stigma that negatively impacts mental health, coping and self-care. The emotional trauma of being diagnosed with HIV itself often causes long-term mental health challenges, familial estrangement, difficulty forming and sustaining supportive relationships, and in certain communities such as many African, carries a genuine fear of loss of community. These experiences are common in all people that use our services, together with low income, and in some cases no recourse to public funds. Cost of living pressures have seriously impacted our service users, and in addition our service will provide an additional resource for people to access our HIV pantry and food bank, financial advice and support.

How we’ll spend the money raised

We'll spend any money raised on hiring rooms to deliver our regular community and peer support groups, materials, and staffing costs. 

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