Executive Director recruited to lead The Sussex Beacon in 2018

Local HIV charity The Sussex Beacon has recruited an Executive Director, Bill Puddicombe, to lead the charity in 2018. Bill has a wealth of experience in the voluntary sector and a track record of securing the future of small and medium sized charities. He will be joining The Sussex Beacon at the beginning of January.

Earlier this year, funding cuts put services at The Sussex Beacon at risk, but local support, grants secured from non-statutory funding bodies and a restructure put the charity in a better financial position. The Executive Director will be working with staff and Trustees in the year ahead to guide the charity through a period of transition and make it more financially robust. Lynette Lowndes, Chair of Trustees at The Sussex Beacon said, “Firstly, I want to thank our staff and volunteers for their professionalism over the last year, it’s been a difficult time but they have continued to offer first class services to our clients. She continued, “We’re delighted to have recruited Bill. He has all the skills and experience to guide The Sussex Beacon as we develop and implement a new strategy. The outpouring of support we had when services were under threat shows how valued our services are. We now need to make the charity more financially stable, so we can continue to provide that vital support for people living with HIV”.

Bill Puddicombe, newly appointed Executive Director at the Sussex Beacon
Bill Puddicombe, new Executive Director at the Sussex BeacoHIV.”

Bill Puddicombe said “The Sussex Beacon is an amazing charity, doing invaluable work locally. I am looking forward to joining the team and working with staff to guide the charity in the coming year.” Bill has worked in the voluntary sector since 1980 and has held Chief Executive roles at organisations dealing with drug/alcohol dependency, homelessness and mental ill health. He has helped to grow organisations and has worked to improve the financial outlook for charities under threat. Bill is taking over from the previous Chief Executive, Simon Dowe, who was with the charity for five and a half years.

The Sussex Beacon provides specialist support and care for people living with HIV through both inpatient and outpatient services. It helps hundreds of people living with HIV in Sussex each year and was rated ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission in 2016.

For further information about The Sussex Beacon please visit www.sussexbeacon.org.uk

HIV – Let’s End It

World AIDS Day, on December 1st is an opportunity for us to remember and to raise awareness. The theme for this year is ‘Let’s end it,’ and communities are working together with the aim of ending isolation, stigma and HIV transmission itself.

2017 seems a long way from the dark days of the 80s and early to mid 90s, when treatments didn’t exist and HIV, in many cases, was a death sentence. We now have effective treatments, which have been hugely successful. People are now able to live healthy lives with a near normal life expectancy. Not only that, but people on effective treatment CANNOT pass on HIV.  This means if we can encourage people to get tested and tackle late diagnosis, we have a real chance of stopping the HIV epidemic in its tracks. We saw a drop in new diagnoses of HIV in 2016, now the challenge is to keep up the momentum and try and reach those people who are currently being diagnosed late.

Although there has been great progress, we still find that some people with HIV face isolation and stigma. Myths still persist – that you can get HIV from a toilet seat or from kissing, that women with HIV will automatically give it to their babies or that it only affects gay men.

Only a couple of weeks ago Avon and Somerset Police announced officers would wear spit hoods to prevent transmission of HIV.  “Each day we face being spat at, putting us at risk of HIV, hepatitis and tuberculosis” they said. The reality is that spitting has not resulted in a single case of HIV. While they have since apologised and acknowledged their mistake, statements like these only fuel stigma, and demonise people living with HIV.

So in 2017, there is still a lot to be done. Tackling stigma and late diagnosis, educating new generations (and older ones who still don’t know the facts) and encouraging safer sex. You can do your bit on World AIDS Day by wearing a red ribbon, starting conversations about HIV or donating to organisations like The Sussex Beacon which support people living with HIV and work to reduce new diagnoses.

I can’t write a piece on World AIDS Day without mentioning those who have died with AIDS both in this country and across the World. Partners, sons, mothers, friends – all taken too soon. Each individual leaving behind devastation and heartbreak. We’ll always remember them, particularly on World AIDS Day, and it will spur us on to keep working tirelessly to eradicate HIV.

HIV – #LETSENDIT

Best wishes,

Simon Dowe, Chief Executive, The Sussex Beacon

Remembrance, awareness and fundraising as Brighton marks World AIDS Day

The Sussex Beacon is marking World AIDS Day (December 1) this year by raising awareness of HIV, fundraising for vital services and remembering those who have died with AIDS since the epidemic began.

Staff and volunteers from The Sussex Beacon will be at Brighton train station on November 30th handing out red ribbons and raising funds for local people living with HIV. On December the 1st teams will be doing bucket collections on London Road and St James’s Street. Brighton’s Wagamama, RBS and a number of bars and pubs are also raising money for the charity.

In the evening, representatives from The Sussex Beacon 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, “The Sussex Beacon began life as an HIV hospice and World AIDS Day is a special opportunity to remember those who have died with AIDS since the epidemic began. It’s also a day to raise awareness, tackle stigma and support those living with HIV today. The community in Brighton are always hugely supportive and we’re so grateful. Their donations help to ensure we can be there for people with HIV if they need us.”

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 theme for this year’s World AIDS Day is ‘Let’s End It’, with the aim of ending isolation, stigma and HIV transmission itself.

The Sussex Beacon provides specialist support and care to hundreds of 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. 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 urges people to get tested for HIV during National HIV Testing Week

Local charity The Sussex Beacon is urging people to get tested for HIV this National HIV Testing Week (18th to the 24th November). The aim of the week is to raise awareness of HIV and promote testing to the most affected population groups in England, men who have sex with men (MSM) and black African men and women.

HIV testing is working and we’re starting to see a decrease in new HIV diagnosis rates, particularly among MSM. However, there is still work to be done. One in eight 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. Late diagnoses remain high – 45% of people with HIV in the South of England are diagnosed late, when the virus is already affecting their immune system.

Simon Dowe, CEO of The Sussex Beacon said, “HIV testing is making a real impact, but we’ve still got to reach the one in eight who are slipping through the net. If you think you might have been at risk, please take the test. You’ll either get the all clear, or you’ll get the treatment and support you need to stay healthy. A finger prick test is all it takes.”

The team from The Sussex Beacon will be raising awareness and urging people to test throughout the week, both directly and via social media.

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

The Sussex Beacon provides specialist support and care for people living with HIV through both inpatient and outpatient services. It helps hundreds of people living with HIV in Sussex each year and was rated ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission last year. For further information about The Sussex Beacon please visit www.sussexbeacon.org.uk.

The Sussex Beacon’s Shops raise £400 with Secret Halloween Auction

 The Sussex Beacon’s charity shops on St James Street and London Road raised £400 for the charity this Halloween by holding a secret auction for a range of weird and wonderful items displayed in their windows.

As well as traditional Halloween decorations, the St James street shop window had an old apothecary style cabinet with jars and lights on display. The London Road store had a mad scientist lab window dressing complete with a bubbling crocodile head in ‘formaldehyde.’ Items up for grabs included electric static energy balls, old Victorian magnifying glasses, books, bell jars and stuffed crows!

Simon Dowe, Chief Executive at The Sussex Beacon said “We were delighted to raise £400 during the secret auction. Thanks go to the staff at our shops for coming up with such a fantastic fundraising idea and creating the amazing displays. Thanks also to everyone who placed a bid. The money raised will directly support local people living with HIV, helping to ensure that The Sussex Beacon can be there for them when they need us.”

Halloween fun run raises over £850 for The Sussex Beacon

On 28th of October, over 160 people donned their most terrifying outfits and took part in the inaugural Halloween Fun Run in Hove, raising over £850 for local HIV charity, The Sussex Beacon.

 

The family friendly event consisted of a 5k run for adults and a mini mile along the prom for the kids. Everyone wore Halloween costumes and there were prizes for the best dressed.

 

Simon Dowe, Chief Executive of The Sussex Beacon said “This was a brilliant event, I’ve never seen such a cheery bunch of vampires, ghosts and ghouls. Not only was it good fun, but all the money raised will go directly towards helping local people living with HIV, so it was for a great cause too. Huge thanks go to everyone involved in organising this, we’re hoping it will become an annual event and that the bloodthirsty creatures will get their trainers on for us again next year.”

 

The Halloween Fun Run was organised by E3 and sponsored by Glencairn Consulting a local IT company.

 

The Sussex Beacon provides specialist support and care for people living with HIV through both inpatient and outpatient services. It helps hundreds of people living with HIV in Sussex each year and was rated ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission last year. For further information about The Sussex Beacon please visit www.sussexbeacon.org.uk.

The Sussex Beacon’s Shops Hold Spooky Secret Auction for Halloween

The Sussex Beacon’s charity shops on St James Street and London Road are getting in the Halloween spirit by holding a secret auction for a range of weird and wonderful items displayed in their windows.

 

As well as traditional Halloween decorations, the St James street shop window has an old apothecary style cabinet with jars and lights. The London Road store has a mad scientist lab display complete with a bubbling crocodile head in ‘formaldehyde.’ Items up for grabs include electric static energy balls, old Victorian magnifying glasses, books, bell jars and stuffed crows!

 

All the items in the window are included in the auction. Bids are placed in a sealed box until Halloween, when the box is opened and the highest bidders are revealed.

 

Simon Dowe, Chief Executive at The Sussex Beacon said “Our Halloween Auction is amazing! If you’re looking for something unique, bizarre or a talking point, there are plenty of things to choose from. Even better, the winning bids will go towards our vital work, supporting people living with HIV across Sussex. It’s a great cause, so we hope to see plenty of people ‘coffin’ up.”

Join The Sussex Beacon Fundraising and Communications team!

Local charity The Sussex Beacon is recruiting for two new roles, a Community Fundraiser and a Marketing and Communications Co-ordinator. The two part-time roles are an excellent opportunity to join the dedicated team at The Sussex Beacon and make a real difference to its work, helping people living with HIV across Sussex.

Over the last year and during a difficult period for the charity financially, the two roles were empty and a partial recruitment freeze was in place. However, The Sussex Beacon is now in a position to recruit again and hopes to increase both its fundraising and profile locally.

Simon Dowe, Chief Executive of The Sussex Beacon said “It feels great to be in a position where we can look to the future and recruit for key roles like these. We’re hoping to find two proactive, enthusiastic individuals who will fit seamlessly into our team. As well as being a fantastic opportunity career wise, we’re a friendly bunch, all passionate about what we’re doing, so it’s a brilliant place to work.”

To apply, or find out more, potential candidates can visit www.sussexbeacon.org.uk, call 01273 694222 or email hr@sussexbeacon.org.uk  The closing date for applications is midnight Sunday 5th November 2017.

The Sussex Beacon provides specialist support and care for people living with HIV through both inpatient and outpatient services. It helps hundreds of people living with HIV in Sussex each year and was rated ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission last year. For further information about The Sussex Beacon please visit www.sussexbeacon.org.uk.

Community Fundraiser (22.5 hours per week)

Are you a dynamic, ambitious and innovative individual looking for your next challenge? Would you like the opportunity to progress your career within a much loved local charity? Look no further! A fantastic opportunity has arisen for a Community Fundraiser to join The Sussex Beacon, a charity dedicated to supporting people living with HIV.

Salary: £21-25,000 pro rata dependent on experience.

We are recruiting a Community Fundraiser to identify, build and develop partnerships with community and business organisations and maximise the potential of individual supporters. We are looking for a self-starter with community fundraising experience or someone who can bring their transferable skills and experience to the post.

The role will include specific targets for raising funds through community and corporate fundraising activities. You will be part of a Fundraising and Communications Team, predominately working out in the community and will be expected to organise, manage and prioritise your own workload with periods of minimal supervision. The organisation hopes to grow this area of fundraising and is looking to recruit someone who is proactive and can develop the scope of our fundraising activities.

The Sussex Beacon offers a fun, friendly and supportive working environment with excellent benefits such as generous annual leave, free parking, a subsidised canteen, beautiful working environment and the opportunity to work on our well-respected event the Brighton Half Marathon.

This really is a fantastic opportunity to make a real difference raising invaluable income for this worthy cause.

To apply, please download the person specification, job description, application form and Equal Opportunities Monitoring form below. CV’s will not be accepted.

 

For a full job description and person specification, please click here.

To apply please download the following forms:

Application Form

Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form

And return to hr@sussexbeacon.org.uk.

Closing date for applications midnight Friday 12th January 2018.

Any questions? Feel free to give us a call on 01273 694222 or email hr@sussexbeacon.org.uk.

The Rainbow Fund donates £7,500 to The Sussex Beacon

The Rainbow Fund donated £7,500 to The Sussex Beacon last night, which will go towards the charity’s group work for people living with HIV. The cheque was awarded to The Sussex Beacon at a grant presentation event at the Brighton Hilton Metropole.

 

The Sussex Beacon runs groups which help people manage their health, become more informed about HIV, challenge the effects of stigma, combat isolation and become more confident. Among other things, the grant will be spent on mindfulness groups, a monthly women’s group and two six week groups focusing on managing wellbeing.

 

Simon Dowe, Chief Executive of The Sussex Beacon said “We were absolutely delighted to hear our bid had been successful. Our group work gives people living with HIV the opportunity to meet others, share experiences and gather information. For some, they are a real lifeline, especially if they are feeling isolated or lonely. This grant will directly help those people and ensure we can keep supporting them over the coming year. Huge thanks go to the Rainbow Fund, the grant will make a big difference.”

 

The Sussex Beacon provides specialist support and care for people living with HIV through both inpatient and outpatient services. It helps hundreds of people living with HIV in Sussex each year and was rated ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission last year. For further information about The Sussex Beacon please visit www.sussexbeacon.org.uk.