As we settle in for the Autumn, I’m pleased to have good news to report about how well our Save The Food Chain fundraising campaign is going.
Ever since we launched the appeal on 5th July, donations have been coming in from people who already know about The Food Chain, and from many who didn’t know about us before. We have had people shaving their heads to raise money for us and swimming a mile a day for 26 days! We have had events in the community and the kitchen, and we have had people send us cheques in the post.
All of this means we are on target to raise £40,000 from public donations by the end of September. At the time of writing we have just £6000 to go. I know we can do it.
We will also know the outcome of some of the grant applications we have submitted by October and that will tell us if we are also on track to meet our bigger target of £100,000 by the end of the year.
We cannot thank you enough for this amazing support.
Just as importantly as the fantastic donations we have received is the huge expression of support and goodwill for The Food Chain that has been circulating ever since people learned that we need help. So many people have posted or sent us messages of support and everyone I have spoken to about our situation has said how much they value the work we do and recognise the need for it to continue for as long as it is needed. So many people have said to me that we simply cannot lose The Food Chain. It has been a great boost for all our team to know how much people care about our future, whether colleagues in the sector, volunteers, service users, donors and grant-givers or friends of The Food Chain.
The message is universal – we must keep on doing what we do to respond to the complex needs of the most vulnerable people living with HIV in London. It is where The Food Chain began, and where we have always been.
Public Health England have just published the very good news that new HIV infections in London significantly decreased in 2018. This is such good news, and testament to the hard work of everyone in the sector who has been promoting and providing HIV testing in many different settings, lobbying for the availability of PreP and sharing the message that Undetectable equals Untransmittable. All of these campaigns make our goal of reaching zero new infections in London by 2030 a real possibility.
Our success in these areas is all the more reason to focus on the needs of those who are already living with HIV but are facing multiple and complex health and social care needs. We must not leave even one person behind in our quest to ensure the good health and wellbeing of everyone in London living with HIV. Services like the ones we provide help do that, and we must all turn our attention to sustaining existing support services and creating new ways to make if possible for everybody to live a long, healthy life with HIV.