Comedians perform in aid of The Sussex Beacon at the 14th annual Brighton Comedy Festival’s opening night

We are very thankful to the Brighton Dome and Off the Kerb for once again running the opening night of the Brighton Comedy Festival in aid of The Sussex Beacon. This annual event raises in excess of £20,000 to help people living with HIV.

On Friday 9 October, the Brighton Dome played host to the opening night of the 14th annual Brighton Comedy Festival. Performing on the night were Elliot Steel, Andrew Ryan, Phill Jupitus, Suzi Ruffell, James Acaster, Seann Walsh, and Tom Allen. Hove resident Simon Evans, compered the night. All the comedians gave their time free of charge.

The legacy of Addison Cresswell

The proceeds from the festival’s opening night are donated to The Sussex Beacon thanks to the legacy of support of British comedy talent agent and producer Addison Creswell. Addison founded and ran Off the Kerb talent agency.

Off the Kerb have over 30 years’ experience in the comedy business. Their internationally renowned artists have won numerous prestigious awards. Previous performers at the gala include Jo Brand and Michael McIntyre.

Volunteers and staff members were on hand with buckets to collect donations and to sell tickets for our upcoming Autumn Raffle. On the night The Sussex Beacon raised at total of £924.06 from bucket collecting alone.

A vital community event

Chief Executive of The Sussex Beacon, Simon Dowe, said: “I am so grateful to all those involved with the annual running of this vital community event; the annual gala raises crucial funds, without which The Sussex Beacon would not be able to continue to provide our key services to the community”

The Sussex Beacon would like to thank all of the comedians who took part, the Brighton Dome for hosting the event, Off the Kerb for their continued support, and anyone who bought a ticket for the opening night. All the money raised will support people living with HIV to lead health and independent lives.

Comedy Gala 2015, Credit Nick Ford

Brighton Comedy Gala comedians with The Sussex Beacon’s Chief Executive, Simon Dowe.
Photo courtesy of Nick Ford.

Our Day Room has now been renamed in honour of Professor Martin Fisher

The room, which is used for support services for people living with HIV, was officially named ‘The Martin Fisher room’ at the charity’s Annual General Meeting on the evening of 30 September.

The dedication was attended by Martin’s parents Chris and Rose Fisher who were touched to discover that the initial request for the naming of the room came from The Sussex Beacon’s service users.

Attending the event as guest speaker was Dr David Asboe, consultant in HIV Medicine and sexual health at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London. Dr Asboe spoke about Martin’s considerable contribution to the field of HIV and about continuing developments.

Statement from our CEO

Simon Dowe, CEO at The Sussex Beacon said: ‘It felt right that we dedicated the room to Professor Martin Fisher at our Annual General Meeting. Martin was the guest speaker at last year’s event and we wanted to celebrate the contribution he made not only to the field of HIV but to the patients at The Sussex Beacon’.

Around 40 people, comprising staff members, trustees and supporters came to the meeting, which started at 6:30pm. The meeting opened with the reading of company accounts, as well as other formal Annual General Meeting business including the appointment of a new Trustee, Jayne Phoenix, and independent health and social care consultant.

Recent changes to The Sussex Beacon

Chair of the Board of Trustees Lynette Lowndes spoke about the current direction of The Sussex Beacon and CEO Simon Dowe highlighted recent changes to the charity, such as their recent reception refurbishment, paid for with funds raised by LGBT networking and fundraising group, Bear-Patrol. Simon also announced the results of a recent survey to choose a new look for the charity and unveiled the winning logo.

A statement was read out from Member of Parliament for Brighton Kemptown, Simon Kirby, in his absence, in which he gave praise of the recent changes at The Sussex Beacon, as well as talking of how proud he was to be a patron of the organisation at such and exciting time.

Afterwards Dr David Asboe spoke about the life and work of Professor Martin Fisher, guests were lead into the newly-named Martin Fisher room, and the meeting was closed.

Martin Fisher Door Credit SB