Lunch Positive Community HIV Support

by Gary Pargeter in Brighton, Brighton and Hove, United Kingdom

Lunch Positive Community HIV Support

£9,470

raised so far

+ est. £722.50 Gift Aid

30

supporters

HIV community outreach, providing a befriending scheme, mental health and peer-support, and essential practical support to people in need.

by Gary Pargeter in Brighton, Brighton and Hove, United Kingdom

New stretch target

Take this project to the next level, spreading support to marginalsied and disadvantaged HIV communities that are often unreached


1638232243_impact.jpgOur charity is led and provided by the community it serves, people with HIV. Whilst HIV treatments have massively improved and the awful experiences and circumstances of the 1980’s and 90’s are far frequent, we do still encounter people with serious health issues – physical and mental, all affecting how they live with HIV: ageing and frailty, cancer, people who come along for friendship and support knowing that they are approaching the end of their lives. Stigma, challenging life circumstances and disadvantage including poverty, insecure housing and homelessness remain, as sadly they have done for decades. No one has greater insight into living with HIV than those who are themselves HIV positive and have experienced these issues. This is reflected in the quality and sheer scope of community based support that’s provided by our amazing volunteers. Money raised will support our community outreach programme. This includes an HIV befriending and buddying scheme, helping people share peer-support, form supportive friendships and get practical help; winter support scheme providing support to people in crisis; peer-support and well-being activities; telephone companionship, advice and information; helping people in recovery; and engagement with specialist services.One of our most recent service users said: “I’m not exaggerating when I say that I credit Lunch Positive with rescuing me from a very dark and lonely place. As a single gay man I was alone. Moreover, my HIV status added another dimension to the challenges I was facing. I’ve been an out gay man since my late teens, diagnosed with HIV in my mid-20’s. However, having lived through some of the deadliest years of AIDS. So, as an older gay man I found myself alone, lonely and without purpose. Luckily a nurse at the local HIV clinic referred me to Lunch Positive when we were chatting about my mental health during a routine blood test. It took all the courage I had to attend for the first time. When I arrived, the team made me feel very welcome. Equally important, our shared experiences and medical concerns gave me the confidence to stay. Since then, my life has gone nothing but upwards. Lunch Positive not only provided me a safe space but also a means to participate in the community as a volunteer. I now have a set of new friends and new ways to add meaning to my life.”

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