The Sussex Beacon receives £5000 from the Santander Community Plus Foundation

Following a nomination by Santander employee Gary Luxumburg to the Santander Foundation, The Sussex Beacon are delighted to say that we have received a cheque for £5,000.

Gary said:

“In view of the great work that The Sussex Beacon does in the local community I have nominated the charity for a Santander Community Plus award. I am so pleased that Santander have been able to offer a £5000 grant to The Sussex Beacon to help support the great work which you do in the community.”

The Santander Foundation offers grants to UK registered charities for projects that support people in local communities.

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Santander Branch Director, Kenny Tutt, handed over the cheque to The Sussex Beacon when he visited our center on 29th January 2016.

Simon DoweSimon Dowe, CEO of The Sussex Beacon said:

“We greatly appreciate the support from Santander, and for the nomination from Gary Luxumburg a keen supporter of The Sussex Beacon. This money will go towards providing our vital services for people living with HIV across Brighton and Hove. We look forward to building our relationship with Santander in the future, and thank them for their support and generosity.”

The Sussex Beacon charity offers specialist care and support for people living with HIV. Open 365 days a year, we help people manage the everyday realities of living with this life-long condition that has no cure. Our Inpatient and Outpatient services help people living with HIV related illnesses, initiating new drug therapies, or supporting those struggling with extreme side effects of HIV medication. The Sussex Beacon supports the whole person by addressing the physical, psychological and social impact of HIV.

An open letter from the CEO of The Sussex Beacon

Dear Baroness Joyce Gould, Peter Kyle MP, Simon Kirby MP, Caroline Lucas MP, and Nick Gibb MP,

I am writing this open letter in my capacity as Chief Executive of The Sussex Beacon.

It was with great concern that I read about NHS England’s short sighted announcement regarding the provision of HIV Pre Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) drugs on the NHS in England.

The current proposal is to provide £2million of funding over two years for gay men most at risk of acquiring HIV. This would equate to preventative treatment for approximately 500 people. It is estimated that over 5000 gay men will become infected with HIV over the next two years. Many of these infections would be prevented if PrEP were widely available.

As you will be aware PrEP could play a key part in the reduction of HIV transmission in England, it therefore seems inconceivable that not prescribing this drug to men most at risk of contracting HIV is even being considered.

Currently the only way to combat the HIV epidemic in the UK is through regular testing and prevention of transmission. PrEP offers a new alternative in HIV prevention and therefore I see no justification for this decision.

Clinical trials and 18 months of work have clearly demonstrated the effectiveness and cost benefits of this HIV prevention drug, proven to be successful in stopping HIV transmission in almost every case if taken as advised.

In the US, Canada, France, Israel and Kenya PrEP is widely available, the UK is world renowned for its excellent HIV treatment and prevention services, a fact we should be proud of.

Given the potential benefits of making this drug more widely available, I ask you to use your influence to lobby against this decision, driven purely by short term financial savings and at the cost of long term public health. A clear long term strategy to tackle HIV transmission, which includes funding for access to PrEP, is needed as a matter of urgency.

Yours sincerely

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Simon Dowe,
Chief Executive,
The Sussex Beacon