Campaign to ‘Save the Sussex Beacon’ is going strong after incredible support from community

The campaign to save The Sussex Beacon is going strong, with things looking more positive for the Brighton based HIV charity, following a huge swell of community support.

Funding cuts had put services at risk, but local support, grants secured from non-statutory funding bodies and a restructure have put the charity in a better financial position. While there is still a way to go in the campaign to save the charity, the majority of staff have been told their jobs are no longer at risk of redundancy. The charity is currently able to continue offering services to people living with HIV across Sussex.

Local support for the campaign has been incredible, with over 10,600 people signing a petition to ‘Save The Sussex Beacon’. MPs, local people and colleagues in the health and HIV sectors have also given their backing.

In addition, The Sussex Beacon is in discussions with national HIV charity, Terrence Higgins Trust (THT), about working together and sharing resources in future. These talks are at an early stage and are exploring the possibility of THT providing ‘back office’ resources, such as finance and IT functions.

Simon Dowe, Chief Executive of The Sussex Beacon said, “I feel like we’ve taken a real step forward in our campaign to save the charity.

There is still a lot of work to do over the coming months to make the The Sussex Beacon more sustainable and less reliant on statutory funding, but I’m delighted we have the opportunity to continue supporting local people living with HIV right now.

“I can’t thank everyone enough for their support during this really difficult time, from service users and volunteers, to fundraisers and local MPs. Finally, the staff have been incredible, both dedicated and professional despite their jobs being at risk. We’ve all been moved by the support we’ve had and it’s made us more determined than ever to secure a future for The Sussex Beacon.”

Services were under threat as changes to local commissioning arrangements led to a reduction in statutory funding. Charity management and trustees will continue to make every effort to put the organisation in a stronger financial position.

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 September.

Easter Sunday drag race raises £3,229.68 for The Sussex Beacon

On Sunday April 16th The Bedford Tavern & Grosvenor Bar played host to the annual Easter Bonnet Parade and charity drag races, raising £3,229.68 for local HIV charity, The Sussex Beacon.

The event included an Easter Bonnet Competition, a sing-a-long, piano bingo and cabaret entertainment. Western Street was packed with competitors and spectators as the races took place and bets were placed on the ‘athletes’. A raffle and bucket collection throughout the day ensured as much money as possible was raised for charity.

Simon Dowe, Chief Executive of The Sussex Beacon said, “This is one of the craziest events in Brighton’s calendar and we were so grateful to be chosen as the beneficiary again. The competitors had gone to town with their outfits this year! We want to thank the runners, the spectators and particularly The Bedford Tavern and Grosvenor Bar for organising the event. £3,229.68 is a great result and the money will go directly to helping people living with HIV in Sussex.”

Photos by Julian Day

Walk the distance, make a difference – Just Walk

Date: Saturday 13 May 2017
Location: Goodwood Racecourse, Chichester
Registration: 10km & 20km distances – £15. 30km, 40km & 60km distances – £30

Just Walk starts and finishes from the dramatic backdrop of Goodwood Racecourse, in Chichester, West Sussex. All of the routes are circular, and take on the rolling hills and landscape of the West Sussex Countryside including sections of the South Downs National Trail on most routes.

We are looking for people to take part and raise vital funds for The Sussex Beacon. If you would like to book your place or you’d just like some more information, please contact our Challenge Events Fundraiser – Rosie Hemming