Scott Ford is a patient and service user with The Sussex Beacon, who has been the recipient of help and support from the team here since his HIV diagnosis 22 years ago at the age of just 25.
Scott has been a great supporter of the Beacon and has attended numerous events run by the team here.
He recently set up a fundraiser GoFundMe page to help raise money for The Sussex Beacon and our activities in Brighton and across Sussex. It involved cutting his stylish hair short – for which he’s already raised more than £350!
We chatted to Scott on Facebook and over email and he shared his story below.
“I was diagnosed with HIV back in 1998. I was about 25.
At the time there wasn’t a lot of support – there was a place called the Red Door I knew about.
Over the years I got a lot of support from the Lawson Unit and about 15 years back I was told about this place called the Sussex Beacon where I could go for support.
I took part in some classes during the day time which were a great support to me.
I started getting more involved with the Sussex Beacon about 5 years ago, when I went to their first Halloween charity ball.”
“I was overwhelmed with the support and care from the Sussex Beacon. For the last 5 years I have helped the Beacon to raise as much money as I can.
In 2018 I needed the support of the Sussex Beacon for a drinking problem I had. I was in the unit for 2 weeks.
The support I got in there was overwhelming. Everyone from the nurses, doctors, volunteers and other people was amazing. The Sussex Beacon is a massive part of of my life.”
“We need a place like the Beacon. There’s nothing else out there like it. Having the Sussex Beacon helps so many people living with HIV. It’s very important we have support in Brighton and all over the country.
Without the support over the years, especially after I was diagnosed, things would have been a lot harder. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the support I’ve had in Brighton.
I want to thank the people that have donated to my Sussex Beacon GoFundMe page. Every morning people like me have to take medication. It’s a constant reminder of being HIV positive.
There are many people out there that live on their own and don’t have the support they need. This is why the Sussex Beacon is so important.
It give people a chance to be around those who can help and give them the strength and support they need. Taking medication is one thing but to have a place to come to for support, which opens its arms with love is vital to so many people living with HIV.
Please just give £5 to my Sussex beacon GoFundMe page – it will make a big difference.”