Show celebrating 25 years of local HIV charity The Sussex Beacon to be held in Brighton

On February 3rd at 7.30pm a show celebrating 25 Years of local HIV charity The Sussex Beacon will be taking place at the Phil Starr Pavilion, New Steine Gardens in Brighton.

An evening packed with entertainment, the line-up includes Myra Dubois, Lorraine Bowen, Miss Jason, Dave Lynn, Davina Sparkle, Maisie Trollette, Kara Van Park and Sally Vate. Dancers from The Brighton Academy will also be performing on stage.

The event is being run by the Brighton & Hove LGBT Community Safety Forum and all proceeds go to The Sussex Beacon with acts performing free of charge.

The Sussex Beacon is currently facing the prospect of closing services due to a reduction in the funding it receives from the NHS. Charity management and trustees are currently exploring a range of options to try and save the charity.
The focus of this event however, will be on the work of The Sussex Beacon over the last 25 years. Simon Dowe, Chief Executive of the charity will be speaking, outlining some the effort and dedication that has gone into supporting people living with HIV locally since 1992.

Simon said “This event should be great fun, during what is an incredibly difficult time for the charity. We’re so grateful to those who are putting the show on and to the artists who are offering their time and talent for free. It’s going to be a fantastic opportunity to reflect on the difference we have made over the last 25 years and to thank the staff, supporters and volunteers who do so much for The Sussex Beacon.”

Tickets cost £18 or £15 for concessions. To book, visit

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 or email

Team Beacon Fundraiser of the Week

As the lead up to the Vitality Brighton Half Marathon 2017 begins, our Fundraiser of the Week blog returns to celebrate our Team Beacon runners who have gone that extra mile to support The Sussex Beacon, and share their inspiring stories.

Henry Smith

Our first Fundraiser of the Week for 2017 is… Henry Smith! Henry is lacing up his running shoes to fundraise for The Sussex Beacon and help keep our services open to people living with HIV. Henry has already raised an incredible £384 for The Sussex Beacon via his JustGiving page and has helped raise awareness of the charity. We are so grateful to have Henry’s support. Read his story below:

Why i’m running for the Beacon?

I chose the Beacon because of the amazing and wonderful service that it provides for anyone affected by HIV. It’s a part of Brighton and the community and it would be a great loss to see such a dedicated service decline and possibly even disappear.  I was saddened to read about the NHS cuts that were affecting it and that the psychological services have now been withdrawn because of funding. This affects so many people – from the patients to the wonderful and caring staff who now face an uncertain future. I want to raise as much money as I can so that I can help do my bit to secure the future of the Beacon.


How i’ve fundraised so far?

My fundraising has been through JustGiving and Facebook.  I write a weekly update about my training and how it’s going. I’ve also emailed and Whatsapp’d my JustGiving link to friends and family who don’t use Facebook, so no one has been able to escape!! To date, I’ve raised my target figure 4 times due to everyone’s generosity which I’m really proud of.

Any running experience?

I’ve always been keen on exercising so I’ve developed my training to build on my current fitness levels.  I train 5-6 days a week – 2 days I do British Military Fitness (BMF) which is excellent for all round strength and stamina training. On the other days I vary my routine between shorter runs (5-10k) and weights at the gym. I attempt one long run each week – I’m currently at 9 miles. As the 26th February gets closer I will start to taper my training down so that I’m well rested for the big day!

We wish Henry the best of luck with his training, and look forward to meeting him and all our Team Beacon runners at the start line next month. Visit Henry’s JustGiving page, and sponsor his mighty challenge!

The Sussex Beacon to close psychological services  

The Sussex Beacon is to close its psychological services at the end of March this year, due to a loss of funding.

Three posts, the Head of Health and Wellbeing Services, the Senior Psychological Practitioner and the Trainee Psychological Practitioner are affected and are currently going through the redundancy process.

The funding historically came from The Monument Trust and the Henry Smith Charity.  The Monument Trust will be closing this year and will be giving no further funding to The Sussex Beacon. As a result, the charity is no longer able to offer psychological services to people living with HIV. The only exception is the charity’s monthly mindfulness group, which will continue as normal.

Simon Dowe, Chief Executive at The Sussex Beacon said, “Without the necessary funding, it’s impossible for us to keep our psychological services running. This is a huge blow to the charity as these are long standing members of staff who have provided invaluable support to people living with HIV over the years. We are doing all we can to support the staff affected and will consult with our clients to ensure that those who would like to access alternative local services are transferred as smoothly as possible.”

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 a year and was rated ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission in September.

It was announced in December that The Sussex Beacon is facing the prospect of closing services, including its ten bed inpatient unit, following a reduction in the funding it receives from the NHS. Charity management and trustees have made and are continuing to make every effort to put the organisation in a stronger financial position to avoid these closures. A petition to Save the Sussex Beacon has been launched, to sign it, please click here: #savethesussexbeacon