Posts Tagged ‘charity’

Positive East

Ahead of our World AIDs Day fundraiser on the 1st of December we had a little chat with Alex, the fundriasing officer for Positive East. Alex has been with the charity for 2 and a half years, and works to engage with the local community and encourage them to support the work of Positive East!

What is Positive East’s mission?

All of the charity’s work and services are designed around our mission to improve the quality of life of individuals and communities affected by HIV in East London.

 Can you tell us a little of the organisation’s history? How did it come into being?

Positive East came about at the height of the AIDS pandemic and was born out of an urgent need to address the significant issues that HIV presented in East London in the 80s.  Two organisations were established – London East AIDS Network and the Globe Centre – which then merged in 1991 to better meet the needs of people living with HIV and became Positive East.

What kind of services do you provide?

We offer a wide range of services.  We have an advice line, counselling and peer support services, tailored support groups including our Re:Assure Women’s Group which supports HIV positive women with past experiences of trauma. And of course, we deliver free HIV tests in the local community.  We are a community-led organisation and I think one of the best things about our services is that so many of our programmes and groups are co-delivered by volunteers, many of whom are living with HIV themselves which means they are much better at understanding the issues and barriers that so many people living with HIV still face.

Why is it important that services like yours exist?

It’s so important – even more important than ever really – as less and less funding is being given to the HIV sector.  This is a very significant time in the world of HIV.  There are some great things to celebrate – a dramatic fall in new HIV diagnoses, particularly amongst gay men in London and London has also exceeded the UNAIDS 90-90-90 target (90% of people living with HIV are diagnosed, 90% of people diagnosed are on treatment, and 90% of those on treatment are adhering to their medication).  We can also now say categorically that someone living with HIV who has an undetectable viral load cannot pass on the virus (Undetectable = Untransmittable) and PrEP works as an effective method of preventing onward transmission!

However, although these are fabulous developments, the challenge remains that not everyone and not all communities are benefiting.  HIV stigma is still a reality and there are far too many people undiagnosed or diagnosed late.  There are 50,000 Londoners living with HIV which of course means that HIV support services are still needed.

How has the work that Positive East does changed over the last decade?

We have always worked and will continue to work towards improving the lives of people living with HIV.  We know that there have been incredible developments in HIV medication but unfortunately, society – and its approach to HIV – needs to catch up.  Stigma, isolation and ill mental health are still very real challenges that require bespoke support and there are now fewer organisations that offer similar services.  Without our work, thousands of people living with HIV would not receive support and advice to manage an HIV diagnosis.

 How has austerity affected your service users and your work as an organisation (if at all)?

It has impacted us severely.  Sexual health services, Positive East included, are facing significant funding cuts year on year.  It looks like this is going to continue into the future as well which means we are becoming increasingly reliant on the support of our local community.

 What advice would you give to someone who has been newly diagnosed with HIV?

First of all, you’re not alone.  Positive East is here to support you.  As I mentioned, HIV medication is very advanced which means that someone diagnosed now, who adheres to their medication, can continue living their life as normal with very few changes.  And all of our programmes and services are designed to make the journey towards managing an HIV diagnosis as smooth and stress-free as possible.

 What are the best ways for people to get involved in and support Positive East’s work?

I mentioned that we are facing some fairly significant funding cuts, so we urgently need both people and organisations to support us so that we can continue our work.  You can make donations to the charity through our website – – or you can fundraise for the charity by setting up an online fundraising page.  We cannot thank Dalston Superstore enough for the fantastic support they have shown for Positive East as well – you are so amazing!  We are always looking for volunteers to help us deliver our work, whether that’s staffing our reception desk for a couple of hours or delivering outreach in the local community to raise awareness of HIV.  There are lots of different roles!  You can find out more by emailing our Volunteer Manager at

Most importantly are you looking forward to letting your hair down at the party after the World AIDS Day Red Run?!

YES!  Absolutely!  It’s been really fantastic organising what has now become the UK’s largest World AIDS Day community event and I can’t wait to continue the celebrations with Superstore on the night!

Find the event for our World AIDs Day fundraiser here. All profits from the door price will go directly to Positive East.

Hackney Pirates

As the English Disco Lovers prepare to throw their first fundraising Superstore party this Friday, we sought out the local charity set to benefit, the Hackney Pirates. A volunteer-run schemed now based in Dalston, the Hackney Pirates focus their efforts in developing the literacy skills of local children. Running primarily on donations, volunteers and crowd-funding, they’re all too happy to be involved with the party and answer our questions about it and their organisation!
How, when and why did the idea germinate for the Hackney Pirates?

Our founder lived in the area and was a teacher. She heard about some great projects in other areas that used volunteers from the local community to support children’s learning with extra one-to-one attention, and thought – Hackney people can be those people!

Why Hackney?

Because we have so many amazing people here who have both time and talent to give. There are so many resources hidden in our local community and we believe that we can untap them to support local young people.

If you could pick a song that sums up the ethos of the Hackney Pirates what would it be?

The Go Team! – The Power Is On 

Tell us about the Ship Of Adventures…

Fairly soon we will be moving into a four storey building on Kingsland High Street (and just opposite Dalston Superstore). We’ve “popped up” in seven different locations since we started so we’re incredibly excited to be granted a permanent home for The Hackney Pirates. It will allow us to expand the work that we do with schools and young people as well as try out some new things, like an event space and Shop of Adventures. 

Is it ship-shape(d)?

Yes! The current designs have the workshop space in the basement as an underwater cave environment with all kinds of sea life and giant octupuses. The ground floor will be the main deck and the upper floors will be reaching up the mast. They’re just designs at the moment, but we are pretty sure it’s going to look great. 

In your Indiegogo crowdfunding video for it, the kids asked local residents about adventures… what was the best one you heard?

Our neighbour from the local corner shop who told us with glowing eyes about an amazing trip she did a couple of years ago. Adventures makes people smile!


What’s the response been like from the community?

We knew that there were quite a few people who supported the work that we do based on how many people have got involved with volunteering, but we were quite stunned by people’s donations and comments. People who we didn’t know before have been very generous. It’s been really humbling. 

How did you guys come to work with the English Disco Lovers for this event?

One of the best things about working at The Hackney Pirates is that, quite often, the best things come from out of the blue. English Disco Lovers dropped us a line when they knew they were going to be at Dalston Superstore. They’d heard about what we do and knew that we were pretty near by. We play disco a fair bit in the office, so jumped on board immediately.

And sum up in one sentence why the Hackney Pirates need our donations…

Because all children deserve the chance to do well at school and to develop the skills they need for the real world (and because learning should always be a grand adventure)!

Join the Hackney Pirates this Friday 6th September for English Disco Lovers at Dalston Superstore from 9pm – 3am.

Peter Tatchell

Ahead of this Sunday’s special fundraiser for the Peter Tatchell Foundation over in London Fields, we spoke to the man himself to find out what the Foundation’s aims are and what we can do to help LGBT issues around the world…

What are the Peter Tatchell Foundation current priorities?

Our current big campaigns are Love Russia Hate Homophobia, Commonwealth: Common Rights, Equal Love and Boot Out Homophobia (from football & other sports):

What’s the best thing we can do to help LGBTQ people around the world facing oppression?

We need to show solidarity with LGBT people worldwide. They are part of our queer family. Please join the protests against homophobic persecution in Jamaica, Russia, Cameroon, Nigeria, Iran and Uganda. I would also ask people to lobby their MP via the website: Ask your MP to protest to the London ambassador of homophobic countries. Request your MP to press the government to switch foreign aid from anti-LGBT governments to local aid agencies that don’t discriminate. 

What’s the most dangerous situation you’ve ever put yourself in?

Getting beaten unconscious by President Mugabe’s henchmen in Brussels in 2001, when I tried to do a citizen’s arrest. But also being bashed by neo-Nazis when I attended Moscow Gay Pride in 2007. Both times I was in fear of being killed. I’ve still got some minor brain and eye damage as a result. 

How effective do you think armchair activism is?

Clicktivism has a role. Mass online petitions by groups like All Out can be very effective in pressuring governments. They don’t always work but sometimes they gets results. The e-petition about Alan Turing persuaded the government to issue an official apology for the way he was treated. 

Do you think LGBTQ activism in London is being rekindled of late and if so what’s promoted this?

Appalling abuses of LGBT people in places like Russia and Uganda have reminded people that that the global battle for queer freedom is far from won – and this realisation has got them activated. 

How far have we got to go here in the UK to reach equality and what is threatening it?

All major legal discriminations against us have been repealed in the UK – at last! But faith organisations are still allowed to discriminate in certain circumstances. They have exemptions from the equality laws that apply to everyone else. LGBT refugees from homophobic persecution are often denied asylum. Sex education and HIV education in most schools is woefully inadequate. Gay bashing violence and homophobic bullying in schools is still far too prevalent. 

Do you ever go out dancing and what is your favourite track right now?

I love clubbing but rarely get a chance to indulge. My favourite track is a bit old: Tinie Tempah’s Invincible. It’s great love poetry; plus I interpret it to express my belief that LGBT people and our liberation struggle are invincible. 

Who are your heroes?

Mohondras Gandhi, Sylvia Pankhust and Martin Luther King. 

What’s been the proudest moment of your life?

The OutRage! campaign against police harassment of the LGBT community in the early 1990s. We won police reforms that saved thousands of gay and bisexual men from arrest and conviction. 

And what are you currently reading?

Forbidden Forward – The Justin Fashanu Story by Nick Baker. You can find out more about it here:

Join Peter this Sunday 1st September for Cold War – The Peter Tatchell Benefit Party at The Pit near London Fields from 2pm to late.
For more information about Peter Tatchell’s LGBT campaigns and to make a donation: 
Cold War - Peter Tatchell Benefit Party

Terrence Higgins Trust

It’s that time of the month, where another edition of T Club is almost upon us! Ahead of the party, promoter Stav B tells us why she’ll be collecting donations for the national charity Terrence Higgins Trust…
“It’s summer time and hearts run free. As the T club is an inclusive community party, as well as a fabulous disco, we have decided to collaborate with a brilliant charity, the Terrence Higgins Trust, to raise more awareness on HIV/ AIDS and all STDs issues and also to raise funds for them. And to focus more on the transgender community. 
We’re especially grateful to have the support and contribution of Tom, THT’s magazine editor and Jade, THT’s marketing manager. 
We aim to make this party more loud and more flamboyant, with balloons and fruity condoms, bunting and cheerleaders, useful literature, raffle, screenings and music to dance to from glam rock to electro.   
The objective of this month’s T club is to marry purpose and healthy politics with a beautiful dance party. 
Donations on the door. ALL are welcome.”
Join Stav B at T Club on Thursday 20th June here at Dalston Superstore from 9pm – 2:30am.

Club Dimanche

Sunday sees a special pop-up London Fashion Week party takeover Dalston Superstore. Club Dimanche, set up and hosted by Konstantinos Menelaou and Michelle Arnusch, plays host to some of the hottest names in fashion from Marios Schwab to Aqua by Aqua. RSVP will be required for this fabulous party and they’re only asking for a suggested donation of £3 on the door that will go straight into the pockets of housing and homelessness charity, Shelter. We caught up with both Michelle and Konstantinos to find out more ahead of the party…

What led to you deciding to set up Club Dimanche?

We just wanted to have a good party and we liked the idea of the designers and talent all DJing together.

Why Shelter?

We were very inspired by the different services they offer and we wanted to contribute. We both regularly talk to homeless people around our areas to try to get to know them and help them out where we can. One thing we both realized is that there are a lot of misconceptions around homeless people and the reasons they ended up where they are – kids who were facing abuse at home etc. The stories are all so different you can really see how easy it is for someone to face these troubles. It’s also heartbreaking to hear how much abuse they get on the streets, verbally, physically etc. If any charity is trying to help them we are all for it.

And why do you feel it is important to establish a strong connection between fashion events and charities like Shelter?

It’s such a huge industry and has so much to offer so why not direct that towards people who really need some help.

How did you chose which fashion luminaries would be DJing?

We just asked our friends.

Club Dimanche at Dalston Superstore

What kind of music can we expect?

Different flavours of super dance! 

How does Club Dimanche differentiate from the other parties taking place during LFW?

Different designers, stylists and musicians all DJing together for charity.

Who on your lineup are you looking forward to seeing for whatever reason?

All of them of course.

What one track epitomises what you’re aiming for with Club Dimanche?

Anything by Prince And The Revolution. 

What will you be wearing?

Michelle: Belle Sauvage by Chris Neuman and Virginia Ferreira. 

Konstantinos: I haven’t decided yet.

And how can we get an invite?

Top secret but RSVP is

Join Michelle and Konstantinos at Club Dimanche this Sunday from 9pm – 2:30am at Dalston Superstore.

Kristina x C.A.L.M.

This Saturday night sees a very special Kristina Records party happening at our sister venue Dance Tunnel. DJs include both our very own Dan Beaumont and secretsundaze’s James Priestley plus Kristina’s Jack and Jason. After the excesses of Christmas and New Year, they’ve decided to give something back and do a night for a good cause. So they”ll be raising funds and awareness for C.A.L.M. – a charity that exists to help prevent male suicide in the UK. We caught up with Jason to find out more…

Why have Kristina Records chosen to support the charity C.A.L.M. for tomorrow night’s party at Dance Tunnel?

I think it’s true to say that the issue of male suicide and male depression does get ignored in the mainstream, and also amongst its sufferers. Without wanting to generalise too much, I think it’s safe to say that men can often find it difficult to come forward and open up or admit they are having difficulties. I’m sure all of us know someone who has suffered, or who has been affected by someone who suffers.

Do you think it’s an important issue and charity for people in dance music to support?

Absolutely. Leading that kind of lifestyle- late nights, partying coupled with the everyday stresses of work and other things, it’s very common for it to take its toll physically and mentally. I know many people who work in the industry and it’s 24/7 for a lot of them. Also I think the creative industries as a whole, where a lot of young men now work, it’s the same thing.

What made Kristina Records decide to start hosting its own parties?

It was natural for us to do that really – I guess it was something we intended to happen before we opened the shop. One thing we do is stock new underground artists and it was natural to also look to put them on in clubs, and it also gives me the opportunity to DJ, which I love doing.

What prompted the move from in-store events to whole evenings in late-night establishments?

The in-stores have really taken off, way beyond what we imagined.  They’re great and we really enjoy them but on the whole they are an early evening thing, more of a social vibe where people can meet and chat and obviously see some of their favourite artists perform in a very intimate space.  Taking that to a late night club atmosphere is a  different experience I guess. It’s hard work, putting on nights, booking DJs, promoting etc, completely different to running a shop but equally as stressful! We’ll be looking to bring some of our favourite new artists to Dalston this year so watch this space…

Why have you plumped for local DJs for this particular party?

The idea initially was to try and involve many businesses in Dalston, especially those run by young men, so as to tie in with the charity, but this didn’t really transpire as we only had a few weeks to organise it.  Dan kindly agreed to offer us the venue and to DJ- obviously he has been in Dalston for a good few years now with the Superstore, and also doing nights before that. We got chatting to James Priestley down at our Andres in-store, we mentioned to him what we were looking to do and he was really interested in the charity and he offered to play.

Who has been your most celebrated guest so far this year?

Well as I said previously, we have been blown away by some of the artists who have played in our shop – really if you had told me a year and a half ago when we opened that the likes of DJ Qu, Andres, Hunee, Beautiful Swimmers and Roman Flugal would play in the shop I wouldn’t have believed it. The Andres one was probably the most epic we’ve had – the guy played for 6 hours and the place was packed to the rafters with more people outside than in.

What are your thoughts on HMV’s troubles this week?

It’s sad I guess but I think it’s a consequence of the changes in the way we all consume music – they’ve been hit very hard by the internet and they didn’t evolve quickly enough. I haven’t been in there for years but by all accounts they were basically flogging flash headphones rather than interesting music. What they do doesn’t really have any relation to what we do. I think it’s probably a sign that people who buy music, and that’s to say those who prefer a physical, tangible thing, are going back to smaller, more specialist independent shops, and in a lot of cases reverting back to vinyl too.    

Is the Kristina/C.A.L.M. relationship one we might expect to see more of and are there different charities you hope to help in the future as well?

At the moment we are focusing on giving C.A.L.M. our support and it is certainly a possibility that we will do something in the future. We believe this is an important cause to support and the more that C.A.L.M. have the opportunity to get their message out there and offer support to those who need it, the more positive results can come from what they do. 

How can people support C.AL.M. besides coming and giving away all their money tomorrow night?

You can go to their website and join their campaign and if you wish to donate money you can do so by clicking on their link 

Join Jason at Dance Tunnel for Kristina Records… Give It Up! from 10pm – 3am  and donate generously to C.A.L.M.

Foundation Rocks

Shucks One Presents: Foundation Rocks

Exhibition ran from Wednesday 30th Nov – 8th Jan

UK artist Shucks One presented a unique visual art exhibition celebrating the themes of consciousness, positive attributes and important figures in classic UK and US hip hop culture, discussing its wider implications on modern culture.

Foundation Rocks combined a series of portraits, illustrations and sculpture, capturing the original hip hop mantras of “peace, love, and unity; knowledge, wisdom and understanding”, presenting a challenge to the dominating themes of violence, negativity and corporatism which resonate throughout hip hop today. The project was the artists’ search to rediscover these foundation principles by retracing the history of UK hip hop music and the individuals making it. It was an attempt to cement the originators of UK hip hop as icons for British music fans, who are often more familiar with the originators in the US.

The exhibition was a visual interpretation of interviews Shucks One conducted with hip hop pioneers of the 1980s, whose music influenced a whole generation of young men and women in the UK. The works addressed issues of history, identity and religion.

Shucks One donated a percentage of any sales made from the exhibition and also held a raffle on the night of the private view to raise money for the charity WAYout.

About Shucks One

Shucks One is an artist, radio DJ, youth worker and experienced freelance journalist specialising in hiphop music and culture.

Through painted pieces Shucks One has developed a way of expressing and contextualising the history of modern day street music and art.

Using a variety of objects as canvasses, such as furniture, clothing, masks and found wood, Shucks One creates a sketchbook, a mix tape way of exhibiting work, going back to the core ethics of street music and art. Using bold colours, pattern reminiscent of tribal fabric prints and ancient symbols Shucks One discusses themes of cultural heritage.

“The term ‘old school’ is often banded around without any real understanding of the underlying themes. With this series of works I intend to explore messages and concepts, not just from hip-hop, but human history as well. It is part history lesson, part hip hop project.”

About WAYout Charity

WAYout Charity provides arts and media training to disadvantaged and street youth in Sierra Leone. In 2010 they worked with over 600 young people who explored subjects as diverse as street life, HIV and teenage pregnancy, using music, comedy, soap opera and documentary. Their films have reached audiences in excess of 35,000 people. Users now tell them they want a base. A place where they can write, rehearse, learn, edit, shoot, show their work or just exchange ideas and support each other. The Hub/ arts centre is the natural next step and is what they are currently fundraising for.

Wallpaper By Jonas Ranson

Print graduate of the Royal College of Art, Jonas Ranson is an East London based artist originally from Essex. His work falls into two main categories which encompass the twin strands of both Fine Art Practice and Illustration. Recent activities have included projects as diverse as printed backdrops for ID Magazine fashion shoots, wallpapers for TENT London, Design Week, Christies ‘Multiplied’ Editions fair, screen print workshops for Sommerset House Pick Me Up Graphics Art Fair, and design collaborations with head of menswear at Versace, designer Martyn Bal. He has also produced fashion illustration for ELLE Magazine, and has worked on various print projects with Berlin based print Gallery RISE BERLIN.  Jonas is also co-curator of LINEAR B, an international group exhibition currently showing at the Stephen Lawrence Gallery, Greenwich.

Jonas’s work is diverse, drawn equally to abstraction, to the world of fashion as well as it is to the ideas and symbolism of the occult and its association with the more disreputable forms of popular entertainment. Prints are achieved through treatment in both digital conversion and photographic silkscreen processes. Both detailed and abstract, the design strategy is one that combines traditional drawing and digital technique. Both his print and Illustration work is an attempt to retain and freely pursue his own conceptual ambitions artistically, but that the conceptual goals target the intended consequence of the client’s ambition.

For more information