Posts Tagged ‘fundraiser’

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 – www.positiveeast.org.uk – 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 volunteering@positiveeast.org.uk

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.

Black Fly Zine

By Goldsnap

Ella and Nana are the co-founders of Black Fly Zine, a new zine on sexual health, positivity and well-being for people of colour. Ahead of their fundraiser on the 25th of Febuary, regular Thursday party Goldsnap are helping them raise money and awareness about the project, and are hoping to get more people of colour involved in the conversation. The Goldsnap crew sat down with Ella and Nana to find out more about Black Fly Zine!

What inspired you to create Black Fly Zine?

We were fed up with the lack of decolonised information on sexual health which failed to consider the multiplicity of people of colour (POC) narratives – and how this impacts us. This wasn’t just about health but also sexual wellbeing – black and brown love, sex positivity and diverse reflections on queer identities and sexualities, to name a few. So we created Black Fly as a platform to share and learn through each other’s experiences, keeping POC centered and our intersections better considered.

Did you take inspiration fromany other zines?

Ella has been working with zines for a few years and has submitted to at least 15 zines in the last few year. Roadfemme was definitely an inspiration, but through submitting to zines you learn about what makes a zine work and also when you have hated a zine you’ve submitted to, what they have done wrong.

What has been the best part of putting the zine together?

Whenever we receive an email notification we both get excited – we definitely feel privileged by people’s willingness to be open and honest with us and the creative manifestations that have come out of this. The zine is just a magical mix of poems, essays, collages, a short story, illustrations and photography…

The call-out for submissions reached pretty wide and the contributors span over three continents, so some of the pieces are in French and Spanish (for these we’ve kept the original but included an English translation.) We’ve even had a submission from a black man who spent seven years incarcerated in the States and sent us an excerpt from the book he wrote during this time. We really couldn’t have anticipated any of this…

Basically, the zine is lit. Lol!

Do you feel that putting together the zine is particularly important now? Why?

Conversations on sexual wellbeing will always be important but what is exciting about the times we are in, is that the zine centres our experiences as people of colour without having to explain why this is necessary. Generally, advice on sexual health/ wellbeing is overwhelmingly heteronormative and is written from the perspective that one size fits all – we are hoping that Black Fly can be a meaningful resource for those who have found a lot of that information to be useless to them.

Do you have future plans for Black Fly? What are they?

The response to this first edition of the zine has been super positive and so there will definitely be a second. In addition to this, we are planning to produce an issue for a much younger demographic through recorded conversations with teenagers as well as their individual submissions. We have also been thinking about workshops but that seems a long way for now…

You have a fundraiser coming up, can you tell us a bit about that?

We are organising fundraisers in three cities: London, New York and Mexico City. The first of these is a party in London and will be held at an artists’ co-working warehouse space in Hackney on Saturday 25th February. It’s £7 to get in but it’s also bring your booze… please come!

Is Black Fly looking for any contributions? How can POC get involved?

Black Fly is for every POC and so we are always wanting people to share their ideas. As mentioned earlier, we will be producing a second edition so people can keep sending us submissions. Currently, it has just been the two of us putting it together, and one of us lives in London and the other Mexico city (the joys of the Internet!!) but as we grow we will definitely need more support, irrespective of where people are based.

Email us at: blackflyzine@gmail.com

How can we donate Black Fly?

You can donate to the JustGiving page. All of the proceeds are going to the printing of the zine. We are giving every contributor a copy of the publication and that is exactly where the money is going, to cover printing and shipping costs.


Join in the Black Fly fundraiser at the Goldsnap Valentine’s Special this Thursday 8 Feb from 9pm-2:30am!

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Homostash Silent Auction Fundraiser

Untitled, A3 Collage.
Text your bids to: 07961 938 529 (plus your full name and postcode)
Current bid: £25 (all proceeds to Movember charity)

November is upon us, and thanks to the beautiful people at Homostash, this month we will be throwing a special Movember fundraiser edition of Homostash to benefit men’s health charity Movember. As part of the fundraiser, we are proud to announce our first ever online silent auction!

Homostash collaborator Fernando Casado has kindly donated one of his collages to be auctioned off to aid Movember! Spanish artist Casado collaborated with Rodrigo Branco on the visuals for the previous Homostash event at Dalston Superstore, which attracted a lot of attention. He will be exhibiting some of his work as well the donated one pieces for auction for the Movember Foundation UK at the Homostash Movember edition

 

Check Fernando out on Cargo Collective and Instagram, place your bids, and join us on Friday 13 November for Homostash Movember edition from 9pm-4:30am!