The Sussex Beacon raises over £750 on World AIDS Day

Staff and volunteers from The Sussex Beacon raised over £750 with bucket collections on World AIDS Day (December 1) this year.

Fundraisers were at Brighton train station and at The Sussex Beacon’s shops on London Road and St James’s Street, raising awareness of HIV, handing out red ribbons and collecting donations.

Simon Dowe, Chief Executive of The Sussex Beacon said, “We want to say a huge thank you to everyone in Brighton who donated this World AIDS Day and to those who wore their red ribbon to raise awareness. Your donations will go directly towards helping people living with HIV locally.”

World AIDS Day is held on 1 December each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day and the first one was held in 1988. The red ribbon was the first awareness ribbon ever created, and is now used in a different colour by many other causes.

The Sussex Beacon provides specialist support and care to over 500 people living with HIV a year, offering both inpatient and outpatient services to improve health and promote independence. Those using the charity’s services may be facing serious HIV related illnesses, dealing with mental health issues or struggling to cope with the side effects of new drug regimes. Recently rated ‘outstanding’ by the independent health regulator, The Sussex Beacon provides first class care and support to those in need.

PrEP trial welcomed by The Sussex Beacon

NHS England is to launch a trial of PrEP, a drug that dramatically reduces the risk of acquiring HIV. At least 10,000 people will be given the drug in a clinical trial lasting three years.

Simon Dowe, Chief Executive at The Sussex Beacon said, “The green light for this trial of PrEP is a great step forward in tackling HIV. We know it’s a very effective way to prevent HIV transmission and we hope this trial is a pre-cursor to rolling a PrEP programme out nationwide. Not only could this decision save lives, it’s also pragmatic financially. The cost of funding the drug would be far less than treating the HIV cases that PrEP could have prevented.”

To find out more about PrEP, click here: PrEP

The Sussex Beacon’s response to the Public Health England ‘HIV in the United Kingdom: 2016 Report’ and NICE Guidelines on routine HIV testing launched today.

The Public Health England report, published today shows that in 2015, an estimated 101,200 people were living with HIV in the UK.  Of those people, 13,500 or 13% were unaware of their infection and at risk of passing on the virus to others.

The local picture
Locally, there were 2,824 people with diagnosed HIV in Sussex (this figure is for residents aged 15 – 59 accessing HIV related care in 2015), this includes 1,544 in Brighton and Hove, which is one of the areas of highest prevalence in the UK. Over 41% of those newly diagnosed with HIV in the South of England were diagnosed late.

NICE and Public Health England have recommended HIV testing is routinely offered to millions of people living in areas with a high prevalence of HIV.

Simon Dowe, Chief Executive at The Sussex Beacon said:

“To effectively tackle HIV locally we need to encourage more people in Sussex to get tested. Routine testing in high prevalence areas would be a great approach and may identify people who might otherwise ‘fall through the net’ and end up being diagnosed very late. In the meantime, if you think you might have been at risk please consider taking a test as soon as possible. Early detection and treatment means people can live long, healthy lives with HIV, but the first step is taking that test. There’s support available for anyone testing positive, so you won’t be facing it alone.”

To find out where to test in Sussex, please visit www.startswithme.org.uk

The Sussex Beacon provides specialist support and care to over 500 people living with HIV a year, offering both inpatient and outpatient services to improve health and promote independence. Recently rated ‘outstanding’ by the independent health regulator, The Sussex Beacon provides first class care and support to those in need. To find out more visit www.sussexbeacon.org.uk

The Sussex Beacon joins fundraising and remembrance events this World AIDS Day

Staff and volunteers from The Sussex Beacon will be at Brighton train station between 7am and 4pm this World AIDS Day (December 1), handing out red ribbons and raising vital funds for local people living with HIV.

Staff in the Sussex Beacon’s shops, on London Road and St James’s Street will also be fundraising and raising awareness of HIV throughout the day.

In the evening, representatives from the charity will be attending the World AIDS Day vigil, taking place at the AIDS Memorial in New Steine Gardens and the World AIDS Day concert afterwards at St Mary’s Church.

Simon Dowe, Chief Executive of The Sussex Beacon said, “World AIDS Day is primarily an opportunity to reflect on the past, remembering those who died with AIDS since the epidemic began. However, it’s also a time to look to the future, raising awareness by wearing red ribbons, tackling stigma and collecting vital funds for local HIV charities. Each year we’re bowled over by the generosity and good will of the people of Brighton on World AIDS Day, many of whom show their support by donating, attending events and wearing their red ribbons with pride.”

In the run up to World AIDS Day, The Sussex Beacon had the opportunity to fundraise at Brighton & Hove Albion football club. As one of the club’s charity partners, The Sussex Beacon collected donations at the home game on 26th November, managing to raise £1790 in just a few hours.

World AIDS Day is held on 1 December each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day and the first one was held in 1988. The red ribbon was the first awareness ribbon ever created, and is now used in a different colour by many other causes.

The Sussex Beacon provides specialist support and care to over 500 people living with HIV a year, offering both inpatient and outpatient services to improve health and promote independence. Those using the charity’s services may be facing serious HIV related illnesses, dealing with mental health issues or struggling to cope with the side effects of new drug regimes. Recently rated ‘outstanding’ by the independent health regulator, The Sussex Beacon provides first class care and support to those in need. To find out more visit www.sussexbeacon.org.uk

Brighton & Hove Albion help The Sussex Beacon reach fundraising goal on match day

On Saturday 26th November, local HIV charity The Sussex Beacon will be fundraising at the Brighton & Hove Albion home match against Fulham, having been chosen as one of the club’s charity partners this year.

Staff and volunteers from The Sussex Beacon will be out in force on match day collecting donations from football fans and raising awareness of both HIV and the charity.

Simon Dowe, CEO of The Sussex Beacon said, “We’re delighted to have the support of the club and can’t wait to get out there on match day. All the money raised by the bucket collection will go directly towards helping people living with HIV, so if you’re at the game, please look out for us in our bright pink tabards and donate if you can. Football fans small change can make a big difference.”

Paul Barber, Brighton & Hove Albion Chief Executive, added, “As a club we are proud to support The Sussex Beacon as one of our two official charity partners, and Saturday’s game will hopefully raise some much-needed funds for the tremendous work they do across the county. I would encourage our fans to give generously, to what is an incredibly good cause.”

The Sussex Beacon provides specialist support and care to over 500 people living with HIV a year, offering both inpatient and outpatient services to improve health and promote independence. Those using the charity’s services may be facing serious HIV related illnesses, dealing with mental health issues or struggling to cope with the side effects of new drug regimes. Recently rated ‘outstanding’ by the independent health regulator, The Sussex Beacon provides first class care and support to those in need. To find out more visit

www.sussexbeacon.org.uk

Legends raise over £800 for The Sussex Beacon at Birthday Bash

Legends, one of Brighton’s top gay venues, celebrated its 23rd Birthday on Sunday 13th November by holding a fundraising event in aid of The Sussex Beacon. The event raised over £800 for the charity.

Lola Lasagne, Miss Jason, Dave Lynn & Maisie Trollette and Davina Sparkle all took to the stage throughout the day to entertain the crowds.

Simon Dowe, Chief Executive of The Sussex Beacon said “This was a fab event and we’re so grateful to Legends for using it as an opportunity to raise money for us. I want to say a big thank you to all those people who put their hands in their pockets and donated.  All the money raised will go directly towards helping people living with HIV in Sussex.”

Staff from The Sussex Beacon present to nurses at the RCN

On November 28th, Clinical Director of The Sussex Beacon, Jason Warriner, is addressing members of the public at an event entitled ‘HIV and sexual health services then and now’. The event is being chaired by The Sussex Beacon’s Chief Executive, Simon Dowe and will be held at the Royal College of Nursing in London.

Jason, an HIV specialist nurse, will talk about HIV services today and what can we learn about the future of public health from the recent history of the AIDS epidemic.

Jason said “Nurses have often been at the forefront of developing care and services for people living with HIV. This presentation will be focusing on their role in the past, the present and the future. Events like this help us share our specialist HIV knowledge with colleagues nationally and also raise awareness of The Sussex Beacon and the work we do locally.”

For further information on the event click here: https://www.rcn.org.uk/news-and-events/events/pre-wolfenden-to-prep

The Sussex Beacon urges people to get tested for HIV this National HIV Testing Week

Local charity The Sussex Beacon is urging people to get tested for HIV this National HIV Testing Week. Testing week runs from November 19th – 25th this year and the aim is to raise awareness of HIV and increase testing, particularly among high-risk groups including gay men and the African community.

Around 17% of people living with HIV are unaware they have it and the majority of new infections are as a result of these individuals unknowingly passing the virus on.

Simon Dowe, CEO of The Sussex Beacon said, “Too many people are diagnosed with HIV late. These people may face serious health complications as a result, or may pass the virus on. If you think you might have been at risk, please take the test. It will either put your mind at rest, or get you the treatment you need to stay well. It could be the most important test you ever take.”

The team from The Sussex Beacon will be raising awareness and urging people to test throughout the week, both directly and via social media. At the end of the week, on November 26th, The Sussex Beacon will be at a Brighton & Hove Albion football match as the club’s charity partner and will be using that opportunity to get the testing message across too.

HIV testing is free and completely confidential. Testing methods vary and people may be offered a swab, a rapid finger prick test or a blood test.  To find out where to take a test locally visit www.brightonsexualhealth.com or www.tht.org.uk/brightontests. Alternatively, to get a sampling kit to use at home visit www.test.hiv

National Testing Week is coordinated by HIV Prevention England. Visit the National Testing Week website here:
https://www.startswithme.org.uk

The Sussex Beacon provides specialist support and care for people living with HIV. The charity provides both inpatient and outpatient services to promote independence and improve health. For more information visit www.sussexbeacon.org.uk

Halloween Horror Show raises almost £35,000 for The Sussex Beacon

On Friday 28 October, The Sussex Beacon held a Halloween Horror Show fundraising ball at the Grand Hotel, Brighton raising almost £35,000 for the charity.

The evening was hosted by Duncan James from Blue and had a ‘Circus of Thrills’ theme which combined cabaret, burlesque and circus for an unforgettable night. International cabaret superstar Dolly Rocket was the ring master for the evening and Duncan James was her strapping assistant, in charge of the circus freaks, ghosts and ghouls from the Brighton Academy who entertained guests with music and dancing. Local divas, The Sundaes and Jenna Hall also performed live sets bringing many guests dressed up in Spooktacular Halloween costumes to the dancefloor.

Simon Dowe, Chief Executive of The Sussex Beacon said, “Some of our guests looked truly terrifying, but they were also incredibly generous! We’re delighted with the total raised on the night, boosted by our skillful auctioneer David Hill, which will go towards supporting people living with HIV. We want to thank everyone who attended and the people who worked so hard to make the event spectacular. We’re incredibly grateful for the support of our headline sponsor ‘City Cabs’ together with all our ball partners and guests who made the night such a huge success.”

The Sussex Beacon worked with leading entertainment design agency the E3 Group to produce the fundraising ball, which has been acclaimed by many as the best Halloween Horror Show to date.

If you attended the event and would like to purchase photos from the evening please visit http://www.nickfordphotography.co.uk/v/photos/tsbhb2016 Proceeds of print sales are being donated to The Sussex Beacon.

The Sussex Beacon provides specialist support and care for people living with HIV. It provides both inpatient and outpatient services to promote independence and improve health. For more information visit www.sussexbeacon.org.uk or email info@sussexbeacon.org.uk

Journalists who would like further information, or photographs can contact Sally Sharpe on 07734 130 524 or email sallysharpepr@hotmail.com

Team attend International Day of Hope and Remembrance Vigil

On Saturday 15th October representatives from The Sussex Beacon attended the International Day of Hope and Remembrance solidarity vigil in Brighton. The event took place at the Old Steine Fountain and was part of National Hate Crime Awareness Week.

 

The first International Day of Hope and Remembrance was launched at the London Vigil Against Hate Crime which took place in 2009 following the death of Ian Baynham, who was homophobically abused and beaten in London.

 

Over the past seven years, the third Saturday in October has been established as a day when people around the globe organise solidarity vigils and events to show support to those who have been affected by hate crime.

 

Simon Dowe, Chief Executive of The Sussex Beacon said “This vigil gives us an opportunity to remember those around the World who have been affected by homophobia or hate crime. It also allows us to raise awareness of the issue, which doesn’t always get the publicity it deserves. It was encouraging to see such a big group of people attending this moving event.”

 

The Brighton & Hove Solidarity Vigil was organised by the Brighton & Hove Community Safety Forum.